Ontario has entered step 3 as of Friday. Since mask-wearing and physical distancing is still in place, we will keep the current gathering limit (20) until the next step. We still do not have a precise date for the full in-person gathering of all church ministries, but it would be good to know what to expect after the Pandemic.
Many churches are confused about how to handle a post-pandemic church. Thankfully, since we do house church ministry, it is relatively straightforward. Our focus will be rebuilding 3 axes. Three axes (Sunday service, House Church, Life Bible Study) are built on basic human needs (emotion, intellect, will), which will not change with changing ministry context.
First, plan to join the in-person Sunday service after the Pandemic. Online service has served our church well during the Pandemic. But it wasn’t the better option, but simply the only option. One Christian writer said this regarding online service: “Digital is a necessary compromise for some and not a convenient option for all.” If digital becomes no longer a necessity but a convenient option, sticking with online may do more harm to your faith than good.
Second, start attending house church in person regularly. Eating together in person is a vital part of house church as it signifies solidarity and acceptance. But expect to find it challenging to attend House church meetings in person. All it took during the Pandemic was turning on the screen. Though we yearn for the in-person experience, physically getting ready and leaving home to go to house church will take some time to get used to.
Lastly, start taking in-person Life Bible Studies when offered. I’m glad many members took bible studies online during the Pandemic. But Many participants have expressed that they would’ve had a better learning experience if it was in-person. On special occasions, we will consider offering them online. But it will be an exception.
Given the future of technology, we will continue to invest in digital ministry, but no technology can replace the human need for an in-person experience. Heaven is where we will see God and each other in person, not virtually. So, if you are healthy and mobile, plan to come back to an in-person gathering. Though it may feel “inconvenient” at first, it will be invaluable in restoring our faith after the Pandemic.