Well, 2020 has had its challenges for all of us, and we are all trying to figure out how we can navigate through it. One of the things for me as a pastor is not seeing people in worship the way that I have been used to over the year. I mean, church attendance is much different from when I first started over twenty-five years ago, but this year has been one of the weirdest years I have pastored. From week to week, you are just not sure who is going to be in attendance. Since March, there have been those who have been at home and then those that may come in contact with someone, and we have even had a few that became sick. We have had to shut down only once for a couple of weeks due to multiple people getting sick, which was crazy. We have had very few events this year, and not sure when they will return. So, we have had to make many changes over this year. One of those changes is trying to improve our online worship experience. We have worked hard to make it better both visually and through better audio. So, we have done our part, but there is something that you can do to help the online experience. If you are staying home and watching online, I would first say there is nothing like being in the building during a worship service, but that is not an option for some. Let me give you some things that you can do to help your experience feel more like Church. You have to remember that you are at Church, and that means that there are things that you should be doing.
1. Try to make the live service
I know you can watch the replay but try to get in the habit of getting up and watching the live service. This will help when this pandemic is over and you make your way back to the House of God. Watching later is great for those who are not a part of the Church or those who go somewhere else and just want to check out what is going on at SDC. But if you are a part of the family, then make every effort to watch live. This will ensure that other things do not interfere with the worship experience.
2. Get Dress
I know you do not want to get dressed up, and that is ok but do make sure that you get out of your PJs. Remember worshipping God is not just about what we do, but it is about giving our best in honor to Him. No matter if you are at home or the Church, you are stilling the presence of God. I mean, I do not think any of us would go to meet the president in our PJs. Getting dressed in some way means that we are serious about worship. So, throw some clothes on and get your worship on.
3. Worship like you are at Church
Now I understand you will more than likely have your coffee, which is fine but do not just sit in the chair and refuse to worship. Even at home, you can get out of your seat and worship the Lord. Remember, He is the focus of your worship, and you should worship Him no matter where you are. Worship is not determined by location, but it is determined by the heart and relationship you have with God. So
4. Stay focused
When you are at Church, you sit in a worship environment, which creates an atmosphere where it is easier to stay focused, but at home, that is not the case. When you are at home, there are distractions, and there is no one there to see you distracted. Watching at home can make it easy to treat worship serviced like any other TV show where you get up and down and move around and miss half of what is going on. Stay focused! Make an effort to treat your home like the chouse house and stay engaged in what is going on
Leave something in the comment section. By engaging those in the Church, know that you are watching and worshipping with them. It helps leadership to know there are people out there who are receiving something from the service even when they cannot see them.
With these simple little tips, you can make your online worship experience as close to in house worship as possible. We are excited that we can offer online Church, but we cannot wait until everyone can come back to the house of God to worship in person.