We are living in unprecedented times. The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has quite literally rocked the entire planet. In response, thousands of churches, including mine, have hosted online services so their members can still worship at home while we are not allowed to meet in person.
What a thought!! We can still have church, even during a pandemic. I mean, think about this: on any given Sunday morning, my church will have about 110 people in the pews. But this Sunday, well over 200 people were watching LIVE while we hosted our online service, and since then over 7,000 people have viewed it. Our grandparents would be absolutely amazed at what we can do today. We can literally hit "Go Live" and speak to the WORLD.
But today, I feel down. I feel isolated. The day has felt long. My heart is weary. And I have realized- "Facebook church" is just not good enough. Social media is awesome, but watching a service on Facebook is just not a replacement for real church. I need to be with my people. I need the little 84 year old lady to kiss my cheek, even though I'm not a fan of someone else's slobber on my face. I need to hear that brother sing off key in the choir, and he's the loudest one of the bunch. I need to walk in the front door knowing I will be hugged no less than a dozen times before I reach my seat.
There is just no substitute for going to church.
Watching your laptop screen does not equal "assemble yourselves together."
Let me say this: all of us are just making it work right now. Facebook church might be the best we've got for today. But there will come a time when this whole thing is over. Let me encourage you to GO BACK to real church when this pandemic ends.
To the un-peopley people: fight the anxiety to go into the crowd.
To the non-huggers- go hug someone the next Sunday you are able to go to church.
What a privilege it is that we GET to attend worship live and in person. Don't take it for granted.
When the enemy whispers into your ear "It'd be so much easier to stay home and watch the live stream today" do not listen to that.
When he says "Why would you get ready for church? You're just going to spend most of the morning taking your baby out of the service" rebuke him!
Can I encourage you to get up, dress up, and go to church? When life goes back to normal (and it will) do not let church be the thing that you cut out of your life because your church figured out social media during a crisis.
Go be with your tribe. Worship with other believers. As you see the day approaching, do it even more. Show up for Wednesday night service. Show up for prayer meeting. Show up for church Spring Cleaning day. In the end, it's not just going to church. It's being the church. And you cannot do that from your couch.