A few months ago, I begged churches to begin worshipping and collaborating together. I felt there was an urgent need for us to begin exercising our unity muscles for the Glory of God and for our own well-being. I knew nothing about the coronavirus (COVID-19) at the time, but it’s here now, and we need each other as Jesus-people more than ever.
A few days ago, a Maryland pastor became notable for suggesting a drive-in movie experience for his church’s Sunday worship services. Congregants and guests would visit and be in unity, but they would stay in their cars for the entire service.
Related Post: Why Local Churches Should Work Together More Often
Until told otherwise, this is a great example of turning lemons into lemonade. We need each other, and we need the ability to worship in unity. This drive-in idea and similar ideas will showcase just how creative the church really is. As Jesus-people, we have the most compelling reason to be creative of any people on the planet.
Much to the chagrin of many, virtual church will need to make waves. I’m choosing to make a distinction between virtual church and online church. Virtual church is a natural evolution from online church. Virtual church tries to overcome the limitations of online church by connecting with people on a more intimate level.
It’s the difference between hearing someone and truly listening to someone. We want a digital church experience in which people can intently listen to God’s word.
Some of the best churches I know started as groups around the dinner table. For the time being, many larger churches may have to adapt that style—albeit around the digital dinner table. There are lots of good resources to accomplish this level of unity: Zoom, Google Hangout, Skype, WebEx, and iPhone Conference Call. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Regardless of which digital avenue is taken, the destination is the same. We want to learn how to love others and how to be loved as an expression of accepting Jesus’s love for us.
1 Corinthians 12:27-28 – Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. (NIV)
Churches in Unity
The most important thing to remember in all of this is that every church isn’t excellent at everything. Some churches are great with small groups or home groups. Others are magnificent at serving their communities felt needs. And others thrive at live worship music. Whatever the case, we’re better together—especially during this unprecedented time of uncertainty.