Over the last few months since lockdown was first placed on us in the UK, church buildings have spend most of the time, locked and empty. Churches have found themselves having to rethink church, and how they could still ‘meet’ for worship without actually being in the church building.
Many churches have been either pre-recording their services and broadcasting them Facebook or YouTube. Others hold live virtual services, using technology such as Zoom.
Since March when the UK went into national lockdown, my church, Bellshill Salvation Army, has been sharing pre-recording services each Sunday on Facebook and YouTube. Yesterday was different, it was our first live Zoom worship – it was recorded so those that couldn’t join us for worship yesterday morning, could watch the recording later.
When we’ve been sharing pre-recorded meetings, we’ve found that in addition to our church members, many people who do not normally attend our services at Bellshill, or who haven’t attended for a while, were watching our services. So I was surprised on Saturday when I heard that a concern had been raised that sharing the Zoom meeting joining details on Facebook, may leave us vulnerable to Zoom ‘bombing’.
A short discussion ensued, and I highlighted that personally, I felt it was fine to let anyone join our live worship on Zoom, as no sensitive or personal information would be shared during worship. After all how can share God’s message with them if we locked out ‘virtual’ doors to others? Many who hadn’t attended our church or who hadn’t attended for a while, had been watching our pre-recorded meetings, so some of them may have wanted to experience our corps fellowship by attending our live worship.
Agreement was quickly reached that whoever wanted to join our live worship should be able to. This was summed up well by our corps officer (minister), when she reminded us of these words.
Whosoever will may come.
We should always make sure our church is open and accessible to those who aren’t regular attenders. If we lock out non-believers, how can we show them how much God loves and cares for them?
We must be show other Christ, by being Christ to others. If we make it impossible or difficult for others to come into our church (physically or virtually), then they will turn around and ‘walk’ away, and they may never know God.