I was really encouraged by a very simple post by Roger Thoman this morning over at the Simple Church Journal. I’ve mentioned him here before and I would highly recommend that you follow his blog. The post was about “virtual house church” and I basically thought I’d copy the idea here.
With the quarantine in place, many simple churches are meeting online with zoom, skype, facetime, etc. Since simple church is really all about relationships, this is a fairly natural transition for many communities. With certain changes to American life and the “church” coming in the months ahead, even post-quarantine, perhaps this will be a trend that continues?
From my experience, there are obvious limitations of gathering this way; however, there are many opportunities virtual simple church provides as well. The most obvious is that you can participate in the gathering from any location. For us, our simple church has allowed folks to join in on a “zoom” call each Sunday morning usually around 10:30 (although we don’t start till 11 AM). That has proven to be a fun informal time to catch up and have some laughs while everyone logs in. Around 11 AM we have taken some time to participate in the “one anothers” as best as we can. Singing is pretty hard (we tried singing happy birthday to a friend and it didn’t go so well), but since the church is built on RELATIONSHIPS you can still encourage, pray for, and teach each other what the Lord is revealing. Best of all, Jesus is still alive, present and able to lead!
Just like any family, you ideally would want to meet in person, but I can certainly see virtual gatherings becoming a common way of connecting for many simple church families (with in-person meetings happening less frequently) for many years to come. This will provide much-needed community for many who simply have had a difficult time connecting in person with a simple church.
How We Can Help
I’d like to offer assistance to anyone who would like to venture out into the virtual world! If you would be willing to lead a virtual simple church or participate in one, please take a second to fill out this short questionnaire. Perhaps you already have a community and just need assistance with meeting online or helping your friends re-think how the church can gather in this way? By filling out the form, I will take the opportunity to do my best to help you!
If you have had an experience meeting virtually with your simple/house/organic church, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Check out Roger’s post to see some comments from folks there as well!