Humanity in its entirety is in the process of creating a new normal. Many are working tirelessly to move life as we knew back to how things were. We may never get those times, days, and ways back. What we can do is be creative and innovative about how we will connect and sustain compassion for others during and beyond our current times.
One of those spaces many are having to change and adjust are houses of worship – churches. Over 1700 years ago modernity’s method of gathering in a centralized facility to express faith and worship to and because of Jesus Christ began to form. Over time small modest structures evolved into works of art requiring years, decades, and countless hours of labor. The church facility has moved back and forth between storefront spots in shopping centers to purchased stadiums and arenas. Prior to the mid 3rd century, men and women would gather in one another’s homes and identified, appointed, and defined leaders would make rounds checking in on, teaching, and praying for believers. Some believers continue this practice and they are identified as house churches. Many are well organized and have defined ecclesiastical polity, leadership, and government.
What will be the fate of the next church house?
Many ministries had already incorporated and integrated virtual churches into their ministries. Their will be some, with a little effort, will come along and effectively convert their face-to-face (f2f) houses of worship into virtual houses of worship. But, there will be a number of houses of worship who will struggle and evetually close their doors. While the current situation most likely will not last forever, many churches will not be able to recover. The reasons are many and diverse but the reality still stands.
Some thoughts about how the believer can respond are:
- All Christians will need to develop a prayer and devotional life beyond the four walls of a location.
- Connect with family and friends in Bible study through conference call platforms or virtual conferencing platforms.
- Engage in home church’s virtual church or one of the virtual churches.
- Be ready, willing, refreshed, available and excited to attend f2f services when the time comes.
Be safe. Be blessed.