At the beginning of 2021 none of us could have predicted the strange times ahead of us. Families separated by border closures, people working from home more than ever, home isolation, and face masks being worn indoors. The list goes on.
Each of these things has challenged our experience of community, both in the world and in the Church.
“Online Church” has connected us to church services and at times to church community, but we’re arguably more disconnected now than we’ve ever been. With that in mind, here’s four ways to stay connected in disconnected times.
Remember why community matters
At the heart of Christian faith is the concept of community.
God exists eternally in relationship within the Godhead: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Through Christ we are reconciled into relationship with God.
We are also brought into relationship with other believers, becoming one body and one family; brothers and sisters in Christ.
Christianity is not an individualistic faith. It’s all about relationship.
We don’t go to Church; we are the Church. Jesus said, “by this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Community is not optional.
Make community a priority
The author of Hebrews writes to their readers to spur them on toward a living, thriving faith saying, “let us…not stop meeting together as some are in the habit of doing”. (Hebrews 10:25)
The truth is we are all creatures of habit. We have good habits, and we have bad habits. Bad habits develop easily enough, good habits require effort and intentionality to develop and maintain.
It might be convenient to listen to a sermon while you go for a jog or drive to work, but if you want to experience the fullness of faith, it’s crucial to make community a priority and plan how you will form the good habits your best intentions desire.
So how will you prioritise Church community in 2022?
Think beyond Sunday
Our Sunday services are the one time every week when the whole church comes together to worship and be in community.
But Church is so much more than a Sunday. Church exists every time we meet together with fellow believers, in groups large and small and in gatherings planned and unplanned.
A simple phone or encouraging message call can make someone’s week. Think beyond Sunday and make community a seven-day-a-week practice.
Consider those who are most isolated
At this time, we need to think of those most vulnerable in our churches and wider community.
There are many people who would love to be in church, but can’t because they are immunocompromised, in isolation, or awaiting test results.
These people especially need our love and care to help them through this strange season. Who can you reach out to and bless at this time?
It’s never been more important for the Church to come together and be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. Be encouraged to make Church a priority and stay connected in a disconnected time.