The church has left the building.
Most every church is having to take drastic steps to continue the ministry in their local communities. Steps they never have had to take before. It is coming with a lot of extra work, critical thinking and creativity. The message of Jesus needs to continue to be preached and the local church needs to continue to meet because the saints must be equipped and the kingdom of God must advance.
Because things are so different right now and our main option for church is at home and in very small groups, I thought it would be beneficial to write a “how to” blog for having church at home. So, here it goes!
Step 1: Practice Hospitality
- Clean up the space you all will be worshipping in.
- Make some coffee, get pastries, and have something with frosting for the kids.
- Light a candle, plug in the diffuser, use those oils, get some blankets and set the mood of the room with your lighting.
- Make sure all of your technology is set and ready! Everything charged. Cords in the right places. Volume set and the screen is visual to everyone.
Step 2: Get Comfortable and Cozy
- Rearrange your couches and chairs to face each other and the tv – feng shui it up!
- Gets lots of pillows, electric blankets are a nice touch.
- Eliminate distractions as much as possible. Silence phones, get the dog out of the way, put the treats away until worship is done.
Step 3: Encourage Interaction
- Don’t simply watch worship, but actively worship! If you normally raise your hands at church, do it at home church too!
- Take notes, say “amen” and share your thoughts with those at your home church.
- Make sure you interact at least once with the group chat on the church’s livestream.
- If you notice someone jumping into the video stream, write a comment acknowledging you are worshipping with them!
Step 4: Acknowledge the Awkward – And Move On
- This is the new normal, for now. It may be a bit uncomfortable, and will require a learning curve. But everyone is having to do this! Acknowledge it, accept it and MAKE THE BEST OF IT.
- God can, and will, move through a video. The Holy Spirit can speak to you anytime, so be ready to hear and receive from Him.
- Encourage everyone to utilize the giving options in this time. We are all having to adjust, and the area of tithes and offerings is no difference. Giving online is a wonderful option in this time!
Step 5: Be Intentional With Discussion and Prayer
- Share testimonies and stories of hope.
- Encourage everyone to be sharing and answering the discussion questions following the service.
- Make sure you begin and end your time together with prayer. Make time for additional prayer requests.
Step 6: EAT Together
- Great things happen between people when gathered around the table with food.
- There is a reason a meal is often the focus of family gatherings and holidays. Food gathers, food includes and food fills the stomach and satisfies the soul.
- You will have time following service, discussion and prayer to make a quick meal with your home church.
- A way to bless the community would be to get take out or delivery from one of the local restaurants and eat together in the home.
To Go The Extra Mile: Be “The Church” as a Group
- Each of you text or call someone to share an encouraging word.
- Make a treat or dish together and deliver to someone who needs a meal, or needs to be blessed.
- Gather the children, pray over them and then speak life-giving words to them.
- Find out the needs of your local food bank, and fulfill one of the needs.
- Go pick up trash at a park or neighborhood. Make your area/neighborhood clean!
- Get creative on how to be generous, or extra generous!
Even though we do not know how long this will last, we do know these principles and ideas of the “home church” is how our faith began! The church spread rapidly through home churches in the book of Acts! We all have the same opportunity right now for rapid church growth!
We have such an amazing opportunity to bring the Gospel to those we are physically near to. We have opportunities to welcome people into our homes to receive hope, peace and to be included. There may be people we reach in this time who would never step foot into a church building, but will come into your home to worship with a small group. Don’t take this opportunity for granted.
Let’s not simply get through this unusual time. But lets make the best of it! God is still on His throne and has allowed us this opportunity to do things we have never done before in order to reach people we may have never been able to reach!
Be intentional, God has amazing things in store for the Church in this time. We want to do everything we can to encourage and empower the body of Christ to be the church and share the Gospel.
What a wonderful opportunity we have right now! Prepare yourselves for the harvest!