Fighting for connection
In this season we have to fight for things we used to take for granted. Community was easier when we could eat together every week. On Sundays we experienced a Body which was larger than our immediate household or LifeGroup, and centred our weeks in a vibrant time of encountering the Holy Spirit and receiving the Word and ministry.
Now we have to be more intentional about our relationships. Growing in God rests more on our intentional practices than our attendance at events (and maybe it always has!).
There are spiritual riches awaiting us as we meet “together” in online Sunday gatherings, but we need to thoughtfully plan and prepare to realize those riches. The Holy Spirit is still moving, but more than ever we have to step into what He is doing. This season is an opportunity to grow spiritual muscle.
How can we make the most of our Sunday meetings online? We are used to our TVs and computers passively entertaining us. But we cannot be passive and meaningfully meet with our Father in heaven and our brothers and sisters in Christ.
God has made us a holy people: set apart and dedicated to God. If we desire the Holy Spirit to nourish our souls, kindle our affection for God, and buoy us with grace, then we need to make our Sunday mornings holy: set apart from our regular entertainment or work.
Creating a new routine for Sundays
Here are some tips to get started:
Plan ahead on Saturday:
- Prepare your space for Sunday morning. Remove any distractions, and make it a space you look forward to being in.
- Set your alarm so you have time to prepare your heart.
- Print out the materials for your children and have them ready
- Plan for some enjoyment to mark the day out as distinct from every other day
Prep on Sunday:
- Get up a little earlier than you think you need to.
- Make your morning beverage and breakfast together with family or friends, whether in person or maybe online!
- Take 15 minutes before the service to read the passage and pray together with family/household members. Preparing your heart for the service will be the most important factor in how you encounter God and what lands in your heart.
- Set your children up with the materials
- Ten minutes before the service starts hop on the chat: say “Hi” and connect with others. Remember, our voices are important to one another, and just being present is an encouragement to others.
During the Gathering:
- Turn the music up loud! Don’t be afraid to sing, dance, raise your hands—remember, this time is about focussing your heart on the Lord and offering him praise. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in an apartment or at the Park Theatre, the Holy Spirit is present.
- Listen to the Holy Spirit, and as you feel prompted to share a scripture or a thought or a prophetic word pop it in the chat. Be courageous in sharing – if in doubt put it on the chat!
- Be ruthless with the temptation to multi-task! Cooking or scrolling through social media or anything else diverts our attention and means we become spectators rather than participants.
- Model participation to your children – the demonstration worship and engagement will shape them more than their activities!
After the Gathering:
- If they are happening, connect into your Cluster Zoom to pray with others.
- Maybe reach out to someone in your LifeGroup to pray for them or share something you appreciate about them.
The riches of God’s presence are innumerable. The joy of community is worth our energy.
The Spirit wants to equip and lead us. So let’s join in with faith and expectation!