Earlier this week, I was talking with someone who related to me a conversation they had with a neighbor (they were careful to make sure I knew that they talked across their backyard fence and were further than six feet apart).
The neighbor commented that he felt that not being “allowed” to attend church services was really a bad thing...because he was afraid that people would get out of the habit of attending and, when all this Coronavirus stuff is done, they will be so out of the habit that they might not return.
As this person related to me this story, I found myself thinking the neighbor was right. Once we get out of the habit of getting up on Sunday morning and attending services, it might be difficult to get back into the habit.
But, at the same time, not being able to meet with you the past few weeks and not knowing when we will be able to assemble together in one place again...well, let’s just say I have a new appreciation for how important meeting with the church is to me.
Then I found myself thinking about how to prevent getting “out of the habit” of attending church. I came up with three suggestions.
First, get up at your regular time for a Sunday morning. Rather than sleeping in, since you don’t have very far to travel for church, stick to your regular Sunday routine.
Second, as part of your regular Sunday routine, get dressed. I’m not necessarily saying to put on the clothes you would wear if we were meeting on Sunday, just don’t stay in you pajamas.
“But nobody is going to see me!” some may object. And you’re right, nobody will see you. But it is a mindset thing. Wearing pajamas means it is time to sleep. Even when we are only able to gather online to collectively worship God, it is time to be awake and thoughtful about what we are doing.
Third, treat our online service like you would a live service. Have your Bible with you. Sing with the song leader (until you’ve done it, you have no idea how awkward it is to lead singing in an empty auditorium...they worked hard, so sing with them). Pray the prayers. Listen attentively to the lesson. “Behave” like you would if you were actually at the church building.
Just some ideas that I hope you’ll employ during this time of social isolation.