A recent study showed an overwhelming majority (75%) of working professionals expect remote work to become the industry standard. The post-pandemic corporate world has drastically shifted to re-evaluate time and cost efficiency. It costs more to own corporate space, to commute to work, and maintain the office building. Not to mention not commuting saves lots of time and energy. Companies are now faced with a crucial decision about the future of their working environment.
Similarly church leaders are thinking about the post-pandemic church. Some church leaders have decided to run full steam ahead with greater and stronger online ministries, while others, like New Life Fellowship, have resumed in-person services for all of their meetings.
When our church pivoted to online house church and Sunday corporate worship, personally I found some aspects pretty convenient. However, the more I think about it, I believe the future of house church ministry will remain within the context of in-person gatherings. I believe this because the church Jesus described was a family, not a business.
Families meet together, in-person. I doubt many people would continue to visit our relatives online when the pandemic is over. The same with our close friends or significant other. We intuitively understand that deep relationships happen much more naturally through being present together. This is also true for house church ministry. There is no substitute for an in-person connection.
Online may facilitate convenience, but in-person facilitates connection. Personally I’ve found my life to be most joyful when I feel connected with people. This is also true for our spiritual life as well. As we transition to in-person house church again, there may be some internal resistance (we love convenience), but I’m confident that once we feel connected, we will be very glad we’re meeting together again.