How to Enjoy Your Digital Church Experience in 6 Easy Steps

May 20, 2020

 

 

Build a routine around it.

I know that life looks a little different now. (Ok… it looks a lot different now.) Your old Sunday routine has likely been blow up by not being able to go… well… anywhere. That’s ok. Build a new routine.

  • Put it on your schedule.

    • Whether you’re watching it during our “live” services at 10am or 7pm or you need to watch it at a different time because of work or life, put it on your calendar. Write it in pen. Block out that time and protect it so you know you have time to participate each week.

  • Figure out your church rhythm.

    • Maybe you’re a morning person and you get up, get ready and do the crossword before watching church. Maybe you need your third cup of coffee before you’re ready to watch. Maybe you get dressed up. Maybe you roll out of bed in your pajamas. Maybe you eat breakfast together as a family beforehand. Maybe you eat lunch together afterward with friends over FaceTime or Zoom. We are all wired differently. Take time to figure out what rhythm works for you or for you and your family. If you take time to develop a good church rhythm it will quickly become a habit.

 

Make it a thing!

I know that it can be hard to engage with church on a screen. Many people miss being able to gather together during this season. I know that I do. But church doesn’t have to be a sterile experience right now. The more you are willing to lean into it, the more you will get out of it.

  • Watch it on your TV.

    • Have you tried watching the service on your TV instead of your computer, tablet or phone? The bigger the picture, the more real it feels. If you have Apple products, try using AirPlay to put the service on your TV. If you have a smart TV, try casting the service. Or you could try connecting your computer with an HDMI cable. The bigger the screen, the bigger the experience.

    • AirPlay “How To”

    • Chromecast “How To”

    • If you’re stuck, there’s no shame in that. Ask a teenager if you’ve got one handy. If we can help you in any way, let us know! You can contact Karen at Karen@project938.net.

  • Turn up the volume.

    • When we turn the volume down, it can become ambient noise that fades into the background. I’m not suggesting you turn it up so loud that it disrupts your neighbors two streets over. But turn it up loud enough that it has your attention and your focus. Give that “volume up” button on your remote a workout.

 

Think like a kid.

If you’ve got young kids and you’re anything like me, it doesn’t take much to get distracted while you’re trying to watch the service. Remember, it isn’t just your life that has changed dramatically during this season… their lives have changed dramatically as well. They may have been used to going to a kid’s class on Sunday mornings where the activities, interaction and teaching were all tailored to their specific age group. Creating a space for them to experience age-oriented content will not only serve them, it will serve you as well. Help your kids get excited for church so it’s not just another thing that they have to do.

  • Make a space for younger kids.

    • Did you know that every week on Sunday morning we send out an email with a link to the Sunday service? Did you also know that in that email is a link to three distinct kid’s experiences (for preschool, elementary and preteen ages)? Create a space for your kids by setting up a computer or device in another room so that while you are watching the message, they can watch the kid’s content.

    • Here’s an example of last week’s experiences.

  • Model what engagement looks like.

    • As parents, we are the most influential role models in our children’s lives. They see every single little thing we do. Even the things we wish they didn’t see… especially the things we wish they didn’t see. (That’s gotten me in trouble once or twice before.) Participating in church at home is a unique opportunity to model for our children the things we say we value and believe. If we’re reading a magazine, they see that. If we are actively engaged, they see that too.

 

Soak it in.

While church might look a little different now, the purpose and message is the same. We hope that you experience the unconditional love God has for you in deeper and richer ways each week. We want you to find answers to the questions that your soul is asking and freedom for the things that burden you. I want that for me as well. We don’t want you to feel pressure to have a perfect church experience. Instead, we want to invite you to be encouraged and challenged while being part of something bigger than yourself.

  • Interact in a way that is true to you.

    • If you like to stand and sing the songs, go ahead and do that. If you’re more reserved and you’d rather sit and reflect, that’s ok too. Our hope is that you feel comfortable to interact with our services in a way that is authentic to you. There’s no judgement here. (Unless you’re watching in your underwear and your drapes are open… your neighbors might have some judgement then.)

  • Do what helps you pay attention.

    • It can be hard to really focus while watching at home because… you know… we’re home. Think through what you need to engage with the service. If you need to take notes, take notes. If you’re a responsive listener and you nod and talk back to the teacher, go ahead and do that. If you need to chime in on the comments with thoughts or questions, type away.

 

Experience it with others.

Faith isn’t meant to be a solo journey just as church isn’t meant to be a solo experience. It is good for us to be together with other people. Shared experiences help us connect with other people and they help us feel more a part of what’s going on in the church. If you can, make your church participation a communal event.

  • Gather the people in your house to watch together.

    • If you’ve got multiple people in your house, get them all together in a room to watch the service together. Watching together makes for a better experience.

  • Join or host a watch party.

    • Want to watch with people but don’t know where to find them? Go to 938online.net or Project 938 on Facebook and join a watch party. Or better yet, gather up some friends and family and host your own watch party. This doesn’t have to just take place online either. When restrictions loosen and we can being to gather in larger groups, you could host or be a part of a watch party in someone’s home.

  • Participate in the chat.

    • Got questions? Ask them. Something really impact you? Share it. Confused about something in particular? Let us know.

  • Invite someone to watch it with you (either in person or virtually).

    • The best way to experience church with other people is to invite people to experience it with you. This season of life has caused us all to wrestle with deeper questions about our lives. People have real questions… Jesus has real answers. Invite someone to watch church with you. You never know… they might say yes.

 

Make it a whole life thing (instead of just a Sunday thing).

Church isn’t meant to be something we do once a week for one hour (or less than an hour if you’re lucky). Church is followers of Jesus living out our faith in real and authentic ways while inviting others to experience the same. If you feel like you’re missing out, maybe the answer is inviting God into more of your life and making your faith a whole life thing.

  • Consider taking the Deeper: 45 Day challenge.

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