The team at Here I Am has been greatly impressed with the way churches have adapted over the past year. As indoor gatherings were shut down state by state, small and large churches alike had to change their approach to Sundays by taking everything virtual.
As vaccines begin to rollout and cases decline, more and more in person gatherings will begin to take place. It will be exciting to see members of the church (from a safe distance) reconvene in physical buildings for the first time in almost a year. As we switch back to some sort of normalcy, I listed out three things that I hope we can bring with us from our time worshipping behind screens.
Using the Smartphone
Before the pandemic started it was extremely frowned upon to be using a cellphone during the service. If as much as a ping went off in the sanctuary, heads would turn to silently show disdain towards the culprit. But as churches reopen their doors, the smartphone should be looked at as a tool to aid in worship services. It can be used to check into the service, view bulletins, and even say hello to people from a distance. Here I Am can provide an all-in-one solution to these issues and enhance in-person services with only a few clicks. But make sure to turn off that ringer!
Being Comfortable and Casual
A number of options were available to churches once in-person gatherings were deemed too risky, livestreaming, drive-in worship, and Zoom meetings quickly filled the void to ensure that church congregants were still able to worship. With these new forms of worship something else changed, the comfort level of them. Instead of putting on a nice outfit and driving to a physical building, people were able to watch services in their pajamas while sitting on their couch. While pajamas in church is probably too casual, dressing down a little bit should be accepted as congregants get off their couch and back into the pews. It should also be noted that online worship should continue to thrive as it is an easy way to increase reach and ensure that a message reaches as many people as possible.
More Purposeful Time Together
Virtual events were a great placeholder as we were not able to gather in person, but to me it felt like something was always missing from them. Agendas were stuck to more closely and very little organic small talk took place. As direct meetings and small talk became much less frequent, people came to value it more. As we move away from these virtual meetings, we need to continue to appreciate the casual conversations that can take place between two people. The “how are you doing” conversations can happen more organically while not being separated by an inch of glass and internet connection. Face to face, small talk conversations, are more intimate and natural then Zoom conversations and will be greatly welcomed back as we begin to see one another in person. Let’s not lose appreciation for this time.