Redefining What Corporate Worship Really Means
by Nathan Artt, on July 2020
When you think of corporate worship, what comes to mind? Perhaps you see a room full of people, you hear music from a live band, and preaching from a dynamic pastor. You see many faces all gathered together in one building.
COVID-19 has flipped our common understanding of corporate worship on its head. The current gathering guidelines and restrictions have kept most churches from meeting in person. Seemingly overnight every church has become an online church.
When we look at church history, we see that this isn’t the first disruption to corporate gatherings the Church has experienced. In actuality, for the first 300 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus, churches didn’t gather in a large building at all. Instead, followers of Jesus met mostly in homes.
At some point churches were built to house the believers for weekly corporate worship, but a wave of persecution hit and many churches were burned to the ground. Once again, believers met in homes and had to be careful during a period of oppression by the Roman Empire. The Jesus movement, however, was not stopped.
Why is that? In a time when many believers were forced to go into hiding and had to cease holding larger gatherings, how did the Church thrive?
When we examine the heart of corporate worship, we see that it’s not so much about getting a bunch of people in a room on a Sunday morning. Corporate worship is more so about an engagement of people with one another within the movement of the Gospel. It’s about connecting people to each other and furthering the Gospel amongst a people group. Primarily, as of late, this has happened through our Sunday morning services. COVID-19 has changed that.
Over the last few weeks and months, the Gospel has not stopped. Churches that have an online platform have reported large numbers of people participating in their worship services. People are engaging with one another in chatrooms or Facebook groups or Zoom calls. Churches that are adapting with the times are still able to get the heart of corporate worship, even if they can’t physically gather together.
Our new e-book, Gutenberg, Amazon, and the Evolution of the Modern Church, explores the redefinition of corporate worship and updates our how so we can accomplish our why. Why is missional; how is practical. Practices can change, but the mission should not. Let’s discover together how we can further the mission by redefining how we do church.