6   +   3   =  

The pandemic threatening our world has opened up a space for restoration.

Interacting; eating; communicating; learning; shopping.

Those are only five ways COVID-19 has altered our world. The world we knew a few months ago has shifted drastically. What once was taken for granted and unthought-of is now missed and longed for.

The unfortunate circumstances that run across our world have also affected our worship. Most churches are now closed and the gospel is being communicated through Wi-Fi and laptop screens. 

With this new medium, worship has shifted from seats full of hundreds of people to parking lots full of cars. Online church services are the new norm and Zoom bible studies are now the definitive mode of fellowship.

I come from a family who regularly worships the Lord through music. We gather in a home and sing songs of praise. However, these worship sessions now consist of video recordings and technology.

The changes listed no longer strike disbelief, as we are accustomed to a new standard. And while this new standard brings along a stream of unfortunate circumstances, it also brings a restored form of worship.

 

Allowing Time for Reflection 

With these modifications, we now have a heightened responsibility to act. This is because motivating elements of an in-person worship experience have been removed from the equation. 

There is no longer a physical church service to show up late to. Before, showing up late meant walking down the aisle and whispering “excuse me” as everyone silently sat listening to the sermon. To disregard Wednesday night bible study, all you have to do is ignore the link and no one will think otherwise. If you don’t want to stand up during virtual praise and worship, no one will be around to see.

Like everything else, we are now in our own spaces, removed from the communal aspects that used to surround our lives. The social constructs of worship are now peeled back and all that’s left is our own motivation and pursuit of our faith.

These alterations are allowing us to evaluate our responsibilities when it comes to our faith rather than basing our walk on the social constructs of the church.

 

Redefining the Church 

When we think of the church, our minds often resort to a building, a gathering of people, and hugs and handshakes. But that has all transformed.

Since social distancing has taken the reins, we are forced to acknowledge the true nature of the church. The church is not defined by physical surroundings or experiences that fit our mold. Instead, the church is composed of individuals who live according to the gospel. While this is not a new concept, we sometimes forget the beauty of the simple church.

This ties into the reestablishment of fellowship. We now have the opportunity to see the value of the church. The Zoom calls, text messages and phone calls are recreating what it means to do life together. We long for those connections we once took for granted and acknowledge the joy fellowship brings.   

     

Understanding the Spread of the Gospel

As believers, we are called to the Great Commission. Depending on one’s own experience, this can be acted out by passing out pamphlets on the sidewalk, inviting your friends to a youth beach day or talking to a customer about Jesus in a coffee shop.

Those tactics encompass the unifying thread of face-to-face interaction that weaves through the Great Commission. And rightfully so, as connection is vital when presenting such life-altering hope. However, that thread has been temporarily cut off due to current circumstances. 

Does that mean we stop spreading the gospel? No.

It is God who allows for such interactions to occur and it is God who uses us as His vessels to bring forth His goodness. This current human tragedy cannot stop God’s all-powerful nature. 

This time in history is allowing us to recognize that the gospel has no bounds and can certainly prevail beyond the typical standards in which we are accustomed to. 

The pandemic has presented many changes, both outside and inside of the church. But a new space is now prepared to bring forth a restored form of glory to God.