October 12, 2020
I’m not sure when we started doing home church on vacation and during the summer at our family cabin, but at some point we decided when we couldn’t attend our regular church on Sunday, we would do “home church.”
So when COVID19 swept the world and churches shut down, we already had a system of home church and simply went from doing it on vacation, to having home church every weekend.
Home church is unique in every home, and our way is simply that – the method we made up. I just went with what felt like the best strategy to get everyone involved.
That was the priority: get everyone involved.
It is hard to describe how meaningful some of these home church services have been. It is not uncommon for me to have tears in my eyes at least once during the service. I am especially touched when I hear the worship or words of our children. What they share about their faith is so meaningful when they are given the chance to lead. It’s simply beautiful.
The elements of our home church format
1. Put out slips of paper of each “role” about 30 minutes before church begins.
Because we want each person to be involved in the service, we give each person a role to play. Some are higher risk than others, and some are more involved than others. It’s really good to have different degrees of risk and difficulty so that each person can participate comfortably.
The method is simple
Put out post-it notes or the printable slips of paper of the various roles and let everyone choose which one they want to do.
If there are younger children, we usually pair them with an older cousin or adult so they can participate easier. Usually the cousin pairing is a big hit!
Typical Roles We Use:
- WELCOME : This person welcomes the group to church – can share announcements, a word of welcome, etc.
- WORSHIP LEADER: This person can use an instrument to lead, or just choose songs from Spotify or Apple Music and lead everyone while the song plays from a phone or speaker. We usually do one or two songs at the beginning and one toward the end.
- SCRIPTURE READER #1: Pick and read a scripture – optional: this person can explain what the scripture has meant to him or her lately or why he/she chose it.
- MESSAGE OR WHAT GOD HAS BEEN TEACHING ME: This person shares more deeply about a topic, scripture, or scripture passage. This resembles the “sermon.” ++We sometimes have two people do this one depending on the size of the group.
- SCRIPTURE READING #2: Pick and read a scripture – optional: this person can explain what the scripture has meant to him or her lately or why he/she chose it.
- INSPIRATIONAL SHARING: This person can share something that has been inspirational – a story, something witnessed, a personal step forward, an encouragement, really could be anything.
- PRAYER: This person leads the group through silent prayer or leads prayer for everyone.
- BENEDICTION: This person bestows a blessing on the group as the service closes.
While we have definitely “watched” some church services during COVID19, I find that watching makes everyone more of a passive spectator. Home church takes that passivity away. Everyone is involved.
2. General flow of the service
Here is a rough outline of how we organize our service. We remain flexible and don’t really care when people go, but it’s helpful to have a general structure:
Worship Song #1
Worship Song #2
Optional Inspirational Sharing