Different Way to Meet. Same God to Worship.
We are on the cusp of a new season of worship for our church family. Starting tomorrow, we will be live streaming our worship services at 9 AM, 11 AM, and 5 PM. You can visit our Live Stream page to view each week’s worship service, as well as accompanying Lighthouse Kids videos that will help our children to learn and worship!
But things may feel very different.
Remember the days of rushing out the door to get to church on time? “Fine, you don’t have to finish breakfast, just eat lots of snacks in your class.” “Sorry officer, but really, I’m speeding for a good reason: to get to church.” “The family bus is leaving in 10 seconds, with or without you.”
As Lighthouse’s worship services move online and our commute is reduced from across Torrance to across the living room, it may lead to thoughts like these: “I’m five steps away from my computer, so just one more tap on the snooze button.” “Stop arguing and fighting, we’re worshiping God together!!!” “Good thing no one can see what our family looks like right now.” “Preparing my coffee definitely qualifies as a Call to Worship.”As Lighthouse enters a new season of worshiping together online, we thought it would be good to provide some suggestions on how to get the most out of worship service live stream. This is not the end all, be all list of things to do, but hopefully these tips will set us on the right course so that we’ll continue to grow in our love and adoration of Christ individually and corporately.
Prepare Your Heart and Body
- There is something about getting ready for worship service, entering the church building, and seeing others face-to-face that reminds us we are able to participate in something special: the gathering of God’s people for God’s glory. The physical dimension of our gathering will be missing, so we need to build in ways to prepare ourselves to worship our God.
- Wake up early enough so that you’re not rushed. Go through your morning routine. Consider what simple things might put you in a more prepared state for worship. For example, for some of you it may be helpful to get out of your pajamas!
- 10-15 minutes before the service time, set up your computer or device. Recharge your device if the battery is low. Have your Bible ready with a pen and paper in hand. In the moments before the service begins, calm your heart by reading a psalm and praying for your heart and our church family.
- Find a place for your computer or device where there are no distractions (e.g., your desk, dining room table, living room, etc.). Clear your space of any bills, calendars, homework, magazines, and toys.
- If you have multiple devices available to you, choose the one with the largest screen. If you have a family or you’re worshiping with others, make sure everyone has a comfortable seat where they can see the screen.
- If you’re not using your phone to stream the service, turn it off or set it to airplane mode and leave it in another room if it’s going to be a temptation for you.
Have a Plan for Your Kids
- Talk with your kids in an age-appropriate way about your expectations for them as you’ll be involved with the worship service.
- If your kids are infants, this will be like you’re in the Cry Room, so nothing changes!
- If your kids are toddlers, you’re in for a handful. Set up a play area with some toys or other things to occupy them. And when we resume meeting physically together as a church, make sure you bring gifts and thankful hearts to the children’s ministry teachers and volunteers!
- If your kids are younger elementary school age, have different activities for them to do. Your child can watch the Children’s Ministry video first, then work on the craft in response to the lesson while you’re engaged with the worship service.
- If your kids are older elementary school age, have them sit with you and participate in the worship service. This will be challenging, but let your kids see the beauty of the church family and your love for God.
Remember That We Are Participants in the Worship Service
- Our default whenever we watch something on a screen is to be passive. We just watch, but we must make a conscious effort to be actively engaged in the worship service.
- Participate by . . . singing! Standing if instructed! Giving joyfully online! Listening and taking notes!
- And remember the church is not the building, but God’s people. Even though we are not physically together, remember we’re worshiping our God with many others spread throughout the South Bay and LA area.
And a final suggestion…
Make Sunday Special
- Since you don’t have to commute or get to church early because you’re serving, you may have more time on a Sunday than you’ve had in many years! Redeem the time!
- Make a special breakfast for yourself or your family! Sit down and enjoy it together.
- Think of special traditions you can do to set the day apart for yourself and your family.
- Rest and enjoy a Sunday afternoon nap!
Every service ends with the benediction. The benediction is the pronouncement of God’s blessing on us as we take what we’ve taken in from God’s Word and let it out into God’s world. As you hear the benediction, think of ways you can connect with others from our church family, and be encouraged that we are God’s people no matter how long this way of doing church will last.God is moving during this pandemic, and God wants us to shine brightly during these challenging times!“There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”