Learning to worship through lockdown
How do we stay connected to our faith in the midst of restrictions? Mission Direct has some tips ...
Living through trying times, such as the current pandemic, can cause a lot of anxiety and worry. When faced with so much uncertainty, keeping focus on your faith can be incredibly important in helping you to cope with difficulties you may be facing. A big part of the Christian faith is coming together for praise and worship gatherings, but with a country in lockdown and social distancing rules in place, this long-standing practice has fallen away.
Being unable to attend group activities like mass worship, many of us may be facing a battle on how we can celebrate our faith and draw from it in a time of great uncertainty.
Here is a list of innovative ways to stay connected with your faith community and get your household involved in new ways of worship.
Join local online communities
Have a good look through Christian websites, or social channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even TikTok for groups and pages that celebrate your faith. Each channel offers a unique way to stay in touch – from live chats, forums, live video, message boards and more.
Look for one that speaks to how you live out your faith and become involved. This may not be the same community or congregation you’re used to seeing in regular worship meetings, but it is a great way to meet new people and make new friends in your faith.
WhatsApp groups – old and new
This is a great way to keep communication open with your comrades. Use Christian WhatsApp groups to post daily Bible excerpts, video call friends, and send uplifting messages of hope and love. A great advantage of this is the ability to share positive thoughts and messages, while still having a safe space to speak out about the challenges you may all silently be facing. Become part of an existing group, create a new one, or join a brand-new group. By surrounding yourself with like-minded believers, you’ll feel part of the community and open yourself up to finding new connections.
Has one of your favourite speakers or Bible teachers started a live stream video? Perhaps there is a new live Bible reading or faith discussion you might be interested in. Sign up and set a reminder to tune in during the broadcast. This is a great way to get the whole family involved in worship, to spend quality time together and to remind ourselves of our special place in our congregations and our homes – and the wider Christian community as a whole. Each and every one of God’s children has an important place, and sometimes we need to be reminded of this.
Celebrate events – create a calendar
With Easter now passed, it may be a good time to put together your own events calendar and invite old friends and new friends to join you in commemorating special days. You could even read about mission trips as a reminder of how faith can drive us to spread good deeds through the world; if a mission trip is out of your reach, you can also find out about support through prayer, and see if this is an avenue you might enjoy being part of.
It might be a good idea to add birthdays and wedding anniversaries to your calendar as a way to touch base with those you hold dear and remind them that even though they are out of sight they are not out of mind.
Get into the Bible afresh
Taking it back to basics, reading God's word is the simplest way to quietly reflect on our faith and how we’re living out each day and celebrating it. Look online for children’s Christian books to help your little one learn about God, and have fun hearing proverbs and learning lifelong lessons. You can even ask them to draw a picture they particularly liked from the book and keep that as a visible reminder of how you continue to practice your faith at home, in quiet and during very trying times.
Remember that even though gatherings are on hold for the time being, there always is and always will be a place for personal worship. Pray, sing, write, sign along to gospel songs that uplift your spirits. These are all ways that we stay in touch with God during the good and the bad times.