I’d rather see the performance of Sibelius’s violin concerto in person than listen to a recording. When face-to-face experiences are impossible, I am thankful for the technology that bridges the gap–whether correspondence or phone calls or video calls. But life is better in person. This fact should not surprise us, for the Word of God itself attests to this: Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete. (2 Jn. 1:12 ESV)
“What’s missing in virtual church”
Throughout my life, I have very rarely missed church services. Because of our governor’s “Stay-at-Home” order, this season has been one of the most prolonged periods I have ever spent without attending local church services.
Here’s my hot take on the situation: not being in church really stinks.
For several reasons, our church has opted not to hold “live streaming” or “video” services online. Instead, I have tried to keep our church together by sending a common service order (including hymns, scripture readings, and prayer requests) for private and family worship, along with a link to a previously recorded sermon. That’s what we’ve tried to do, for better or worse.
Before I begin, let me make something clear. While I don’t believe that virtual church or live streaming church is corporate worship or a viable substitute for corporate worship, I think it is good to “make due” when you cannot gather with your local church. This is true, not only during a time of pandemic where our government authorities are restricting large gatherings, but whenever a believer is unable to attend corporate worship. It’s like we’re all deployed in the military right now.