Church at home is nothing new. Home is the place where the Early Church was birthed and from where it grew into the global mass of believers it is today. However, the coronavirus pandemic has brought the Church back into the home in a way we never imagined would be necessary. Lockdown has meant that the Church has had to reinvent itself…
Many churches are rising to the challenge to do church at home well. One of these is Rediscover Church in Exeter, Devon. Led by Mark Pugh, it has been streaming its services for a number of years, but now has come up with an innovative format for its Sunday services in this time of quarantine when its building cannot be used.
“from house to house, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Good News that Jesus is the Christ.” (Acts 5:42)
From house to house…
In the Government’s initial response to Covid-19, churches were still able to stream from their buildings, albeit with an empty auditorium, but that soon had to stop. In the height of lockdown, we now see pastors preaching from their studies and worship leaders leading worship from their lounges! It’s amazing to watch from house to house, from screen to screen!
How to do Church at home well
Instead of using their usual format of a one period of worship and a sermon, Rediscover have realised the need to shake things up a bit. They ensure they retain viewer attention by making things more interactive. There are songs from different worship leaders in different homes, as well as preaching and teaching slots from different pastors. The segments are short and the pace is upbeat. There are interviews, panel discussions and questions for viewers to answer via the chat facility. The result is church at home in a way we have not seen before!
Lockdown has certainly caused the Church to think outside the box and use technology to break new territory for God’s Kingdom. It has also brought churches together in unexpected ways. In addition to streaming its services, Rediscover Church has used this format to screen regional prayer events featuring diverse church leaders from various denominations across the South West of England. BBC News recently carried this report:
Hope when things seem bleakest
“Rediscover Church is finding ways to offer hope to people,” says Devon LIVE in an article entitled Find hope when things seem at their bleakest , “Whether it is mobilising the 600 strong congregation to reach out with a helping hand to their communities or livestreaming its Sunday services the church is committed to using every innovation it can to reach and help people in new ways at this time of need.”
It’s wonderful to see the Body of Jesus Christ thriving in tough times. Refusing to stop proclaiming the Good News… even if it is from screen to screen!