How to Do Church When You Can’t Go to Church

Not even a pandemic can keep God’s people apart. All around the world, believers are gathering virtually for Sunday morning worship and finding creative ways to stay connected.

Here’s what some of the members of the BER core team have been doing:

In Mississauga, Canada, Viji Roberts’ church is using Zoom to host online Sunday services, prayer meetings, Bible study, and even Sunday school singing for the kids. The preachers altered their sermon series to address people’s current needs, and they’ve moved their baptism class to Google Classroom, looking forward to baptizing several believers when the pandemic ends.

In Rochester, New York, Chuck Gianotti’s church conducted a virtual communion service this past Sunday. Eighteen families joined online via Zoom so they could all see one another while sharing bread and juice individually in their households. Because Zoom allows for interaction among all participants, they were able to follow their usual Sunday morning practice of spontaneous participation, with various men contributing prayers, Scripture, and devotional thoughts to the worship service.

In the St. Louis, Missouri, area, the elder team at Kevin Fitzgerald’s church has been making frequent phone calls to check on church members and offering to pick up groceries for anyone who doesn’t feel safe leaving home. While church services and Bible studies are on hold, Kevin is redeeming the time: he’s making progress on a booklet he’s writing about how to share the gospel more clearly.

In Littleton, Colorado, Alex Strauch’s church has been sending out a Sunday morning message, along with daily messages of encouragement with websites, blogs, and audio sermons. They are also providing meals and running errands for people who are at a greater risk from the virus and shouldn’t leave home. To stay connected throughout the week, church members are exchanging lots of phone calls.

Alex says that “so far, everyone seems to be encouraged by the church’s response.” The quarantine and cancelled trips are providing Alex with interruption-free time to work on his newest book—and coveted time with his wife. “There is a bright side to this dark story,” he said.