Are you going to church or watching TV?
Since the national lockdown was implemented in March because of the coronavirus pandemic, most churches in South Africa have been offering online ministry to their members.
I am fully aware that the Church is not a building, but for the purpose of this blog post, I am specifically referring to church worship services.
We have all become accustomed to a new way of going to church over the past several months.
Many churches are offering online worship services that people can tune into via YouTube, Facebook or other streaming services.
There are many benefits to having church services this way. I hope that churches will continue to utilise the internet to reach God's people in the future as well.
But I also believe that by attending worship services online at our convenience, there is a danger of seeing our faith as something that is done for us, rather than something that we get to partake in ourselves.
It is easy and comfortable to tune in to an online worship service at a time that suits us while we sit on the couch in our homes. I have personally loved the opportunity to go to church in my pyjamas with a cup of coffee in hand!
But I am worried that many of us are just watching online church services much like we watch our favourite TV shows - mindlessly taking in the information that is given to us and not letting it transform our lives at all. We switch off after the service and don't think about it again until the following week and the process repeats itself.
The local church is meant to be a community of God's people actively partaking in God's mission for the world. The church worship service is meant to empower God's people in becoming more Christ-like and to share Christ's love with the world.
There is only so much that your church leaders can do to provide you with church services online. Are you going to be a passive receiver of the information you are receiving or are you going to let those services transform you so that you can actively become God's transforming presence in the world?
Jesus said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation."- Mark 16:15
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