Virtual Worship in the House
These days, church involves pajamas. It involves a cup of coffee, me curled up on the couch, and a text message passing of the peace. It involves Facebook comments, an open laptop, and a strong internet connection.
And while I love all of those things, the thing I love the most about my new Sunday morning rhythm is that it now involves Worship in the House too.
For the past year, our youth have been gathering in the Youth House on Sunday mornings for a youth-focused worship service called Worship in the House. The goal and hope of this service is to teach our teenagers the stories of our faith in a way that is accessible to their age and stage in life. Therefore, when we were able to gather in person, the youth band would lead music, our youth deacons and elders would help serve communion, and we would have a discussion-based homily. It was messy, authentic, and creative. It was church for our youth, and I loved it.
For the first several weeks of quarantine, the youth team tried a variety of ways to connect and care for our youth through virtual avenues. However, it was not until a youth parent reached out to me to share that their student was missing Worship in the House, that I realized the opportunity before us. As a result, in May, the youth team launched our first virtual Worship in the House, and it has remained the highlight of my Sunday every week since.
Virtual Worship in the House looks a bit different than the real thing. Instead of being a full hour, it lasts about 20-30 minutes and ends with a Zoom call for discussion questions and prayer. Instead of the youth band leading music, Zach Light-Wells leads music by himself. And instead of a discussion-based homily, Maggie and I have written messages that involve videos, props, timelapse doodles, and messages from our youth.
It’s not perfect, but perfect is not the goal.
The goal is connection and faith formation, and I am confident we are achieving that.
So the church may be a lot of new things these days, but above all, I am grateful that it is still a place our youth want to be. Thanks be to God for authentic, messy, creative worship. Thanks be to God for virtual Worship in the House.