Going to church, Sunday group, Youth group or Messy Church is not currently possible. We are having to discover what it means to discover God in the everyday, ordinary parts of life and be church together in the place we spend most of our time. It’s an opportunity for households to share together in finding and following God in their everyday lives.
The temptation for churches (who have the capabilities) is to replicate what might usually be on offer (albeit via Zoom or YouTube) – adult-focussed services and mid-week groups, youth group online and any number of activities focussed on children. However, we have an opportunity to explore something new, to help households discover God together across the generations and to develop rhythms and practices of faith that can continue past lockdown.
However, for many this is a new experience. Many households will be in new territory and will feel at sea. They may be exhausted with it all, and as they are being school as well, adding anything that feels like school may be a step too far.
As church leaders, we need to reassure households that they don’t have to be theology experts or even have been Christians for a long time to notice something of God in the everyday. There isn’t a right way –it might feel messy or awkward to start with – but that’s OK. Encourage them to stick with it and keep looking for God’s presence together. It’s about doing things together with children rather than for them.
Ideas that might help
- Watch the Faith at Home Parents videos and encourage households to use them.
- Watch the Faith at Home Church Leader videos for ideas and examples of how to encourages families in faith.
- Model some of the ideas from the Parents videos in your online worship.
- Encourage families to have conversations and wonder together.
- Remember that families do not find it easy to gather round a screen at a set time. Being able to pause worship to regroup is vital.
An outline designed to help families share a short time of worship together at home can be downloaded from the Church of England Support Hub.
Prayer Spaces in Schools have ideas to help households engage in prayer activities at home.
ISingPOP have a weekly act of worship focussing on a theme such as fear, hope, resilience.
Same Boat Music (part of the Out of the Ark family) are releasing worship songs each week for generations to enjoy together.
Worship for Everyone’s Nick and Becky Drake host live worship for households every Saturday at 4pm on Facebook.
Diddy Disciples have a page called The Church at Home which helps households create their own acts of worship, as well as a link to their live Compline each day on Facebook.