Tips for Worshiping While Social Distancing

Recently, our churches, communities, country, and world have been impacted by a contagious virus. Social distancing has been recommended and even directed by government agencies. While this plan to avoid human contact may be helpful in preventing the spread of a sickness, it may also hinder our spiritual growth. You and I can either be part of the solution or part of the problem during this pandemic, and our churches can, too. If we choose not to practice proper social distancing, we are only prolonging the duration of the threat and increasing the exposure of this contagious virus in its spread. Since churches are not gathering during this time and small groups are unable to meet in person, there are a few helpful things that will allow us to be proactive and intentional about our faith right now.

  1. Have a regularly scheduled daily time to read Scripture, pray, and even journal: You may be a night person, but right now you might want to start your day off with spiritual intentionality; open your bible and spend time reading the Word of God. Meditate on the truth and promises of Scripture. Highlight and underline passages for future reference. If you are not on a daily reading plan, find one that suits you. After reading, respond by journaling your thoughts, and then express your heart to God in prayer. You’ll be surprised at how the trajectory of your day changes when you begin with Good News before you turn on the network news. Bonus points for those who get up, make their beds, get showered, and eat breakfast to maintain a sense of normalcy.
  2. Find things that stir your affections for Christ, like music : Music is a language that speaks to our souls. It is emotive, and it can be a helpful tool in lifting our spirits. While you are sitting in your recliner, sipping your coffee, walking in your neighborhood, or watching the sunset from your porch, turn on some praise music. If you have a smart speaker, tell “her” to play your favorite songs, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing songs with your family, too! It’s one thing to listen, but it takes things to a whole new level to have your own worship session in your home. Pro tip: many streaming music services and newer albums have words to songs available for you to follow along with.
  3. Make every effort to redeem the time and be grateful: Take some time to realize that while this moment in history presents us with lots of problems, there are also some pretty amazing opportunities right now. We have been forced to slow down. We are instructed to spend time at home. Any unnecessary work has been put off. The kids are out of school. Do you see the opportunities? You can have quality and quantity time with your family. You are realizing which meetings could actually have been emails. You can take a walk. You can take a nap. You can try those recipes you’ve been thinking about. You can work on those around-the-house projects. Our pets are loving the extra attention, too! You get to talk about the things in life that matter most, and we are seeing that relationships, not things, are at the top of the list. Instead of looking at what’s wrong, look at the opportunities we have right now that we don’t normally get. Be grateful! Our perspective right now can mean the difference in us looking back on this time with regret, and looking back on this time with refreshed heart. I’ve heard it said, and it bears repeating: “Things may be bad, but they could be worse.”
  4. Join your Church live-stream each Sunday: On Saturday, make plans for worshiping on Sunday. When Sunday morning rolls around, be ready and set aside time to join your church family. Grab some breakfast, get dressed, gather your family, and get ready to stream your church’s service online. If you have a smart TV or streaming device, set up your TV, so that all can see and hear. Make this event the biggest thing that happens all week, because it could very well set the tone for the days ahead. When the service has finished, don’t let things end there. If you are with your family, ask leading questions and have an unhurried conversation about the songs you sang and the message you heard. If you are with friends (less than 10) take time to hang out and not rush on your way. If you are alone, give someone in your church family a call and discuss how God’s Word and the Spirit impacted you through the service. We can be faithful to assemble as the church, even if we are scattered to our homes. Imagine how awesome it will be to reunite with our brothers and sisters, as we gather to worship Jesus and celebrate the gospel!
  5. Trust this is only temporary: Understand the simple fact that this change in our normal rhythms and patterns will not be easy. This disruption won’t be easy on young children, who need consistency. This will definitely affect senior adults, who may not be able to cope with the rapid changes and technological solutions. Don’t fall prey to the temptation to just be lazy and let the time pass. You will be missing out on so much! Don’t neglect to do the things we can do that will be the most helpful, and these are things that ensure we are staying mentally, emotionally, and spiritually in good shape. This is only for a season. Things won’t be like this forever. One day, there will be no more contagious viruses, no more sick people, no more quarantines, and no more death. Soon, our eternal Savior will be making all things new. His grace is sufficient during the temporary.