Well, it’s another week of online worship and it may continue to be this way awhile longer. So, here’s a few more tips on how to make the best of the online worship experience (you can review the first set of tips here)…
- Continue to adjust your expectations. While you are longing for the in-person worship gathering, continue to keep in mind that nothing can replicate that experience. And that’s not what churches are trying to do through their online offerings right now. Churches are simply doing their best to keep the family of God connected and inspired, to keep their congregations on mission for Christ, and to keep preaching the Word of God. Be grateful for those efforts and extend grace when it’s not “perfect.”
- Appreciate the differences in what each congregation is offering online and understand that they have strategic reasons for doing things in the way they are doing them. For example, our congregation is not equipped to do live music well, and we have found the issues related to copyright and licensing laws prohibitive to adding recorded music to our online offering (as an example, early on the Facebook company was removing sermon videos that included recorded music). So, we post links to worship songs that can be found on YouTube and encourage people to listen to them as part of their at-home worship experience.
- Resist the urge to compare churches if you are watching multiple services from multiple congregations. Instead, take a Kingdom-view and delight in all the good work that Christians around the nation and the world are doing to make Jesus known among “the nations.”
- Please don’t compare preachers. Doing so, will rob you of the opportunity to learn and to be inspired. Again, take a Kingdom-view and delight in the fact that so many talented people are using their gifts to help others hear and understand the life-giving, hope-filling, salvation-bringing Gospel of Jesus Christ. To help with this, after listening to a sermon or watching an online worship service, take a moment to pray for that congregation and for that preacher, and ask God to keep using them in His Kingdom and for His Glory.
- Finally, reflect on what you’ve seen or heard with your family members, a group of friends, or another individual. This will help you internalize God’s Word and stay connected to others who are trying to follow Christ too.
Songs for Sunday
Each week I post four songs from The Zoe Group (or others) that go along with the theme of my sermon that you can view at alameda.church and across all of Alameda’s social media platforms. One thing that is important to understand about these songs is that I am posting songs that teach by adding a nuanced layer, through music, to the sermon you are about to hear or have just heard. While you may not know all these songs, I am hoping that these will be songs that you will want to learn and sing along with as you do. Also, I assume that you are listening to songs you enjoy worshipping with, so I post these songs as a supplement to what I trust you are already doing.
With that said, here are this week’s “songs for Sunday”…