Sunday's have Changed
The Coronavirus pandemic has reshaped Sunday mornings for many Christians around the world. For over 4 months, our family has been participating in church via livestream, and while we look forward to returning to church in person, we are recognizing positive outcomes in our home and in our hearts from this new worship style.
So what does church currently look like for our family? On Sunday mornings at 10am, our family of seven gathers in our living room with our coffee & Bibles and we sit through service together. It’s regular church, just on the TV: We sing worship songs, we pray, and we listen to our pastor preach. For our younger kids, this has been an excellent time to practice sitting still and being quiet. For our older kids, it’s been a great time to teach them how to take notes. The seating is cozier and the atmosphere is more relaxed, but the big change in our house is what happens after the livestream ends.
After the Service
When we turn off the TV, my husband leads our family in a discussion about the sermon. What was the main topic? What did the pastor mean when he said this or that? Do you understand? What do you think about that? The list goes on and on. Some mornings the discussion is brief, but the important thing is that we’re not dispersing as soon as service ends, as had become our habit. We’re dialoging and we’re debriefing.
We have five kids ranging from high school to infancy. These discussions immediately after the service have allowed our kids to verbally process what was taught. These times have offered opportunities for them to ask questions that are fresh in their minds, for us to reiterate gospel truths and basic theology at age-appropriate levels, and has bonded our family as we wrap up our talks by praying together.
Moving church from a building to our living room, from 200 people to 7 each week, has caused us to realize that our focus on Sundays had sometimes become more about fellowship than worship. That was convicting. When we are able to attend church in person again, we will relish corporate worship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. However, we definitely want to keep these new habits in place.
Worshiping as a Family
Though Coronavirus has ushered in a challenging and unique season for all of us, let me encourage you to not forsake worshiping as a family. During this time of remote church attendance, it might be tempting to use Sunday morning for other events, but I would implore you to stay disciplined and committed to showing your children that Christ is worthy of our worship regardless of our circumstances. In our home, we have committed to attending church together each week via livestream for as long as necessary. It might not be ideal, but it has led to unexpected blessings and growth. Whether in a pew or on a couch, Sunday mornings remain an important time to train the hearts and minds of our children.