How to Worship in Our Living Rooms - Bethel Church and Ministries

How to Worship in Our Living Rooms

 

“Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 
(John 4:21-24, ESV)

I am grateful for the truth of the Scripture above. The woman from Samaria is asking Jesus to settle the age-old debate between the Jews and the Samaritans. Mainly, where is the correct place to worship? What is the correct way to worship? Jesus lovingly and gently answers her question by stating that he is about to inaugurate a new way of worshiping by dying on a cross and rising again from the dead. He is changing the paradigm and is saying that the meeting place of heaven and earth is not a place; rather, it is himself. 

You see, in the Old Covenant the Jews would have to travel to the temple to worship and there was a very strict set of rules and laws in place of how it should be done. Jesus turns worship on its head and states that the time is coming for the Spirit to indwell believers who have placed their faith in his finished work. So, the answer to the Samaritan woman’s question is “neither.” There is not one place where God has to be worshiped. 

There is so much underneath all of this that I don’t have time to unpack in a short blog post, but the main thing I want us to realize is that worship is not about a place—it is about a person. This was true when we were able to gather together on Sundays at our campuses. The Spirit met with us and over and over pointed us to Jesus as our worship was offered to him. Now, we need to drill down even deeper into this truth as we are separated. We need to claim this truth for our worship as we gather across the Region in our living rooms, as we are forced apart for our weekly rhythm of gathering, and as we do church online. We remain scattered, but here is the beautiful news: the same Spirit that is with us when we gather by the hundreds at our campuses can just as powerfully move among us as we gather in much smaller numbers in our homes. It’s to this point that I’d love to give some practical tips on how to maximize your worship at home. 

  • BE FULLY PRESENT. It’s so easy to do “checklist Christianity” sometimes with all that is available to us, especially in the digital format. I’ll admit that when I’m reading through the Bible in a year, I will listen to a few days at a time via the iPhone app to catch up. Am I doing my Bible reading? Sure, technically I am, but I’m not fully present in the spiritual discipline I am seeking to cultivate in my life. Similarly, it would be easy to put on the livestream of the Sunday service and just have it going in the background. I would encourage you to gather your family, stream it to a TV, and be fully present as we worship together digitally.
  • LIKE, COMMENT, & SHARE. This has to be one of the easiest ways to share the good news of the gospel. Your friends and family who don’t know Jesus are looking for answers more than ever at the moment. Share the livestream and they may check it out. I know for a fact that the Spirit is not limited by technology. Also, engage with the message as you would if you were there live. Type an “amen” or give a “heart” when something resonates with you.
  • WORSHIP; DON’T JUST WATCH. Worship is not a spectator sport. Not gathering in person will definitely tempt us to be spectators instead of active participants. I would encourage you to sing out. Join in with the prayers. Take notes during the sermon. If you are a parent, this is especially important. Our kids can learn a lot from us during this season. If you’re a bad singer, just turn up that surround sound to 10. 

I will admit, this is not ideal. I MUCH prefer to gather with you as we sing, partake of communion, hear from the Word, etc., but this is where the Lord has us for the moment. May the time of being apart make us that much more grateful for the times we can be together. Until we can be, let’s maximize our worship at home.