• Chris Steele

Thoughts on Online Worship

Be Strong, Be Well — Saturday, April 18


I read a thought-provoking article this week by Wes McAdams. It’s called 5 Tips for Participating in Online Worship. One of his points was, “Don’t Be a Spectator, Be a Participant.”

Since we’re at home in a more relaxed atmosphere, observing live-streamed or recorded messages and songs, we may feel like we don’t need to sing along ourselves, or bow in prayer, or even take the Lord’s Supper.

We need to keep in mind, we are in a unique situation by not being able to physically gather together for worship. But we still must and can be involved in worship.

We should see ourselves just as engaged and involved as we would be if we were in a public setting for worship. Keep in mind, what Jesus told the woman at the well long ago is still true for us today.

“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:23-24).

A second observation from brother McAdams was “Limit Distractions.” We need to pay attention and concentrate on the worship just as we would if we were in the auditorium in our regular services.

There may be a tendency to feel like we’re watching a movie or some television show. We might be tempted to do some channel surfing. By the time we switch from one worship service to another, we have missed worshiping God.

There are streaming services at different times, depending on the time zone. At our house, we worship early with one congregation. When it’s over we switch to a second service. We have already worshiped and taken the Lord’s Supper at the early service so we don’t take it again. But we enjoy the singing and another lesson from the second service. We have even tuned-in to a third.

With all kinds of recorded lessons on church websites, or Polishing the Pulpit, Gospel Broadcast Network, and other sites, there’s plenty to choose from for our Bible studies.

Tomorrow will be the Lord’s day—the day of worship for every Christian throughout the world. God will look down upon His people and hear their collective voices in song and prayer. He will see their hearts honoring His Son in observing the memorial supper.

The question for us is this; Will we be in that number? Will He hear us? Will we be focused and engaged in worship? Will we remember Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross? —Chri

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