For years, those of us leading churches used social media to tell people what we were doing. Now, during lockdown, social media is all we’re doing. Zoom prayer, Facebook Live sermons, YouTube organ pieces, we’re all very online.
Even clergy who prided themselves on their luddite status are learning how to minister in this purely digital world. Honestly, I hate it.
Even though I’m known—affectionately?—as the TikTok Priest, I love praying the Psalms IRL (in real life) and with people, preferably in an echoey stone building. Now, on Zoom, I mute everyone but the main reader so it doesn't sound like all the demons of hell are screeching their way from the depths.
As much as I hate it, though, I know that adapting to a changing world and adopting new technology is what Christian ministers have always done—all the way back to the apostles. After all, what are the New Testament epistles but remote pastoring with the technology at hand?
Several weeks before the stay-at-home orders began, our small gathering of Morning Prayer faithful started reading through 1 Corinthians. Every day’s readings took our little group through Paul’s directives about divisions in the church, sexual ethics, how to eat together, and how to handle church meetings that got a little rowdy. Even through the differences of time and language, his words spoke directly to our own struggles as a new church plant in the suburbs of Texas.
We were a few chapters in when we started meeting on Zoom instead of at our usual round of coffee shops. Once we moved entirely online, I started to feel an even deeper connection to Paul’s pleadings, commands, and tone, especially as my frustrations with our virtual situation ...1
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