Spiritual Food for Thought: Topic 12
What Does Worship Look Like? (In a Post-Pandemic World)
While listening to a virtual church service on Sunday morning, the minister asked the question:
What does worship look like in a post-pandemic world?
I thought about this question throughout the day and, as I pondered, it came to mind that the church has a marvelous opportunity at this crucial point in time. This is a time of recovery from the grief of great loss, as we are still in mourning for those who passed away during the pandemic. We are mourning the loss of those lost to senseless violence, as well as those who were lost to us from natural causes and complications of illness.
As we begin to heal, we must remember to trust and depend on God for the strength that we need to recover and continue
to move forward. We need the Lord more than ever now as we live in a post-pandemic world. The church can be the support and the means of recovery for a world in need. Additionally, this time is a marvelous opportunity for doing something new and different to reach people who need God, and those who have lost touch with the Lord over the years. The following is just one hypothetical framework for how worship might look in a post-pandemic world.
A sliver lining of the pandemic is the fusion of technology into the worship experience. We probably need to continue to use technology to assist in the dissemination of information, and the distribution of the knowledge resources of the House of God. Technology was a useful tool during the pandemic and can continue to be so in the future. I will use, as an example, a vision of worship, or a framework based upon the home-church of my family. This church has a main sanctuary, a chapel, and educational facilities. This framework can be adapted for churches of all sizes.
7:30-8:30 AM "Quiet-Place Worship" Location: Chapel
Virtual resources of film and video with peaceful scenes serve as background music for reading, and reflecting on the word of God. A scripture reference for the day is on the screen for optional reading. Members may use a Howard Thurman book
or the Bible and scripture reference for their time of reflection. Personal note: This service provides time to listen to God.
The Lord often speaks in the stillness and quiet time of reflection. Sometimes we don't hear God because we are talking,
or others are talking. Another reason for the use of the chapel for this type of worship is that some members need
to be away from the daily tasks of home and family to commune with God. Finally, this segment of the congregation will have varied participation over time as Quiet-Place worship will be needed at different times in the life of each individual.
7:30-8:00 AM Meditation videos on screen for 30 Minutes
Howard Thurman (or other book chosen by the church) on seats
Sunday Meditation Leaflet, and Gospel Pearl/ Hymn Book on seats,
Intercessory Prayer available in the lobby right outside the chapel
8:00 AM Video "Wednesdays at the Well" Bible Study
8:15 AM Sing Together (Hymn)
8:20 AM Announcements / Closing Prayer
(Exit) Love Offering and Church Offering
8:30 AM Continental Breakfast (supported by last week's love offering)
9:00 10:00 AM Sunday School (National Curriculum)*
Children w/Parents (Parents need to accompany young children to see and thereby
reinforce the lessons at home. *Parents can watch the video of Sunday School, virtually,
at a later time.)
10:00 AM to 10:45 “The University of Christ” Fellowship (UoC) Location: Educational Center and Campus
Create a university atmosphere where members are free to discuss questions, topics and seek counsel from the assistant pastors, pastor emeritus, and lead learners of the church. Have videos to play on screen if attendance is low. If one person comes, minister to that person and start the video until others come in. Speakers and Panel discussions can be a part of this framework. Panels often draw people into the discussion. This is a concept borrowed from the Gospels where Jesus visited the Temple to talk, to teach, and to preach. If the answer cannot be found, the teams and members of the congregation can seek Him as one body.
Virtual sermons, lessons, and topics created during the pandemic can be archived as a knowledge base for the team leaders and congregation to use for study. Computer terminals for perusing the archives should be available to members. This will lead to members learning and building their personal knowledge base and/or building a family religious resource library.
Not everyone has a religious resource library at home. This is a way to help families build a religious library for their family now and for generations to come.
A key component of the UoC Fellowship is the QTC Box
(QTC=Questions / Topics / Counsel)
Church Members can submit questions, topic suggestions, and requests for counsel in the QTC Box.
Anonymous Questions can be answered virtually (written or video) by assistant pastors or lead learners. Postings can be available for a few weeks and then archived.
Questions w/Names can be answered by assistant pastors and lead learners (virtually or in-person meetings with a team). Deeper questions may be addressed by the senior pastor or pastor emeritus.
FAQs can be answered with a "Wednesdays at the Well" presentation.
11:00 AM Morning Worship Location: Sanctuary
12:30 Lunch Break
1:30 PM- 4:00 PM (Flexible) Outreach Teams
Youth Athletics / Youth Activities
Prayer and Intercession
Knowledge Base Video Production
Pastor and Ministry Team Video Production
New Member Training
Food Assistance Drive-Thru (Selected Sundays or Monthly)
4:00 PM Pastor's Leadership Team Meetings (in-person and/or virtual)
Address Today's Events and Outcomes
Plan for the Next Week
QTC Assignments (Virtual and In-Person)