Two household church
These strange times are giving us all opportunities to try doing things differently. Several families we've spoken to have shared that doing online church with another household* has helped them.
Here are a few reasons, it might be worth exploring this for your family:
- It provides an opportunity for other people to create windows and frame for you and your children. They get to see more of the range. This could be of how different people chat and catch with God, worship, understand the Bible or navigate the ups and downs of life with Him. This can give them inspiration and ideas for how they want to connect with God. It also broadens their understanding of what life with God looks like for different people in different contexts.
- You get a taster or reminder of what it’s like to be part of a body and church community. We were designed for community and to play our small part in God’s bigger plan. For many of us, online church has been convenient and we might be hesitant about returning to physical services. This helps us experience why connection into something bigger is important. Rachel answered a listener’s question about this in a podcast episode.
- It gives an opportunity to share testimonies, prayer requests, things you’ve caught from God and ways of connecting with Him. You can of course do this just as a household. But, bringing other people into the mix often makes this feel easier and helps you all see outside the needs and stories of your immediate family.
- It makes it more of ‘a thing’. It’s so easy when it’s just your household for everyone to run off and get distracted by other things. Anyone missed the start of church because you were still in the shower or got distracted preparing lunch? Pre-covid, getting dressed and getting in the car or walking to church got your head in the game. Now, going to someone else’s house or people coming over can do the same thing. You are deliberately setting time aside to connect with God, to worship Him and learn about him.
A few things to think about:
- Who to invite. Take the initiative and invite another person or household. Do not worry about how terrible your TV is or that your kids will be climbing the walls! This is about real life and doing it together not Pinterest-worthy hospitality. Think through whether you want to do it with the same household each week or to mix it up and have different people. Consider inviting people who are different to you too. There is so much to learn from people at different ages and stages of life. Perhaps you could ask God together who to invite and see what you catch. Your family can be powerful in inviting people who might be feeling lonely or isolated.
- How to make everyone feel safe and comfortable. Be led by the household who is more cautious or has people who are more vulnerable. Think through if there are adjustments you can make, that would make them feel more comfortable. These could be things like meeting outside, having separate sofas/zones or not sharing food. Be clear about the set up and avoid last minute changes of plan if you can.
- What you’ll do together. Are you going to watch a Sunday service or meet up afterwards to chat about it? Will you be together the whole time or separate into smaller groups or kids/adults at some point? Will you do communion, if so do you need to get anything ready? Will you do any musical worship? Do you need a YouTube video or guitar at the ready, or is that part of what you’re watching?
Have you tried doing church with another household? What worked well? What flopped? We’d love to learn from you.
*At the time of writing, in England, two households are allowed to meet together provided they are not under a local lockdown. Please check the most recent government advice for your area.