EMPOWERED Mission Trip Devotional Journal available now! GET IT HERE!

Today I Went to Church, Part 3

Today I went to church. 

I attended church online instead of in person. 

My church hosts online services that are nearly identical to the live services. Since the pandemic many churches livestream their services for people to watch online. 

In this post I want to just focus on two observations: the pros of online church and the pros of in-person church.

First, the benefits of attending church in person:

  • The people! Watching other people worship often leads us into deeper worship ourselves. Shaking a hand and exchanging a smile are scientifically proven to boost our mood. Being around the people that make up the church usually is a great part of the experience of going.
  • The environment. The lights, the music surrounding you instead of coming out of little phone speakers, and the energy of the room adds to the experience. Even in a church with more traditional services, the incense, the organ, and the stained glass draws out a reverence that can’t be experienced in the same way online.
  • The focus. When you’re in the church service, you can’t get distracted by the dishes, laundry, TV, or anything else that pulls your attention. Usually once you’re there you’re focused. 

Now, the benefits of attending church online:

  • The comfort. You can worship in your own space comfortably, you can turn down the volume if the music is too loud, and you can refill your coffee as needed! Plus, you can wear pajamas. 
  • The anxiety, or lack thereof. It can be intimidating going to church when you’re feeling anxious or depressed. With people constantly asking, “How are you?” while uttering “God is good all the time,” it doesn’t feel like the most supportive place to be at times. Online services allow you to still attend church, learn, worship, and connect without the anxious feeling.
  • The adaptability. No matter where you go, church goes with you! While traveling or when sick, your phone or computer is always available to stay connected. You can also pause or replay parts as you would like. 

I personally am a big fan of both in-person and online services. I think each has a place in the Christian life and faith, and would encourage everyone to try both. 

This is especially true if you have a hard time worshiping God at home, outside of church, or seem to connect with Holy Spirit only during church services. It’s easy to rely on churches to create environments where God is worshiped and faith grows, but we have this same access to God everywhere

Attending an online church service – bringing these elements of assisted worship into your home – can help you develop a life of worship and faith outside of the Sunday morning service. If you’ve had a hard time with a regular devotional time or inconsistent faith growth without the church context, try watching online and begin to explore what your faith looks like outside of the church building. 

Today I went to church. I attended church online instead of in person. I love them both!

Thanks for making this a part of your day!
Feel free to share it with others!

2 Responses

  1. I now attend church online only, though not by my choice. My husband can’t find a church in person close to us that believes like we do, so he found an online church halfway across the country. They recently opened their membership to “non-local” believers, so I have technically joined them. There are both advantages & disadvantages to worshipping online, as you said. That’s all I have now, so I’m trying to focus on the advantages, one of them being less anxiety trying to get the children ready for an early Sunday morning.

    1. It can be unique to only have a church family online, but like you, I am grateful there are many positives in it! It sounds like you have found a church that prioritizes their online presence, too. Yay!! If you’re still desiring some in-person connection, I would recommend something like Bible Study Fellowship or a Community Bible Study that has people from a variety of backgrounds in it. But if not, lean into the opportunities you have at the church through serving online! Maybe you can be an “online” host and welcome others into the community who are in a similar situation. That sounds like a beautiful opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *