How to Create a Worshipful Environment at Home
We’re living in unprecedented times today and COVID-19 is changing our entire lives; we can’t sit down and eat at a restaurant anymore, there are new rules and manners that are acceptable in public when it comes to handshakes, sneezing and general hygiene. The ways are endless and it will leave an imprint for the rest of our lives. 2020 is already officially the year of Covid-19.
And for better or for worse, our Sunday worship has changed. Our church has moved to a virtual service. And as the spread of COVID-19 and the mandates given by the authorities have been changing by the hour, so too has our staff had to make, cancel, adjust, amend our worship plans.
So while our staff is working diligently to offer you the best experience to worship God, it is of utmost importance that you also prepare yourself for worship on Sundays. I want to give you guys 4 very practical ways to prepare for worship on Sundays.
Be TECHNICALLY prepared - For the majority of those who are familiar with YouTube and casting videos on TV, this might not be a big deal but they are details that you need to figure out before service nonetheless. It’s hard to worship when your sound and video is going in and out or constantly buffering.
a. For a family of 4, what’s the best way to view the worship? From individual phones? A laptop? A TV?
b. What website do I have to go to in order to find the live stream (www.crossway-church.com/live)?
c. How is my internet connection? Can it handle videos that are streaming in HD?
Be MENTALLY/PHYSICALLY prepared - God has called the day of worship a sabbath. A day to be made holy and set apart from all other days. So set up a physical environment for live streaming that is conducive to worship and not distracting. Give your full attention to singing, reading scripture, praying and participating in service.
a. Just as you would turn your phone on silent or not bring McDonald’s to eat in the church service, put away your phones, stop doing work and don’t do chores while watching.
b. What do I need to prepare for my children so they’re not running around distracted?
c. If the way you dress affects your mental/emotional experience in worship, then prepare your Sunday outfit.
Be SPIRITUALLY prepared - God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth (John 4:24) If we are to worship our God who is spirit in nature, we must worship through the Spirit and in the Truth. Here are ways to prepare ourselves spiritually:
a. Pray before the start of worship with your family. Ask the Lord to speak to you and meet with you today. If you don’t know what to pray, pray the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:6-13. Pray with expectancy that the Lord will answer because He says: If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you (John 15:7)
b. Pull out your Bibles. Read the truth of God’s Word and allow that to set the tone for your worship. Click Here for some passages to dwell on before service.
c. Sing to the Lord. When we watch a live stream worship, we are not watching Netflix, or a sports game. We are not spectators but active participants in giving glory to God. Sing with all your hearts to the Lord. Ephesians 5:19: speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.
- Prepare MISSIONALLY - Just because we’re at home doesn’t mean God’s Great Commission to all his believers (Matthew 28:18-20) no longer applies. We should be all the more vigilant to be active in sharing our faith in creative ways. Romans 10:15 says “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” And though we cannot physically run to share the good news, how can we virtually be present in people’s lives?
a. Promote the worship beforehand- repeat after me, “I am a social media influencer.” Whether you have 1 million subscribers or haven’t opened up a social media app in months, you have the ability to influence one person, one friend, one coworker to see the hope that you have in crisis. Now is the time to be proactive in virtually sharing the hope, faith, peace and comfort that you have with the world. What is TikTok? Go find out for the gospel sake.
b. Discuss with your family or small group afterwards- how did the worship bless you? What was God teaching you about Himself in the message today? How can we pray for one another? The new church in Acts devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship. What does fellowship look like in this climate?
c. Apply the Word and think of ways to serve those who are isolated, abandoned, or struggling- In Acts 6, it was the church that appointed people to go and serve the widows to make sure they weren’t forgotten but taken care of. Who do you know that is most at risk for sickness? Who needs help buying groceries? Who needs protection? Who needs a friend?
Some people are holding their breath in fear and anxiety waiting for things to go back to normal. But at this point, I don’t see how we could ever go back to our old normal. Everyone of us will be changed and affected in some way shape or form. The greater goal then, is not for things to go back to normal, but for us to be sanctified, and for God to be glorified. James 1:2-4 2 Count it all joy, my brothers,[b] when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
And it is through the gospel, the work of Jesus Christ and His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead that guarantees this final work has been accomplished for us and will be completed in the end. Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.