When you travel, do you unpack your bags?
That may sound like a personal question. It’s not meant to be! But it does seems to me that there are two sorts of travellers. Those who unpack their bags in the hotel suite, and those who do not.
Generally, I don’t. It seems like a waste of time; packing clothes, jocks and socks into shelves and drawers takes away time from play. Or exercise. Or exploring. Especially if you anticipate moving on the following day. Or the day after. And then there is the fear that I might forget something and leave it behind.
However, I notice that some people cheerfully pack their shelves and drawers. They make the room their home. It quickly becomes familiar and engaging. And if they need to pack their bags and move on the following day, they have their routine to do so!
For many of our churches across Queensland, COVID-19 worship moved us into a space of discovering whether we are an unpacker or a packer.
For some of us, we lived in the hope that next weekend we could return to face to face worship. So we lived, metaphorically, with our clothes in our bags – just being engaged and committed enough to keep in touch. Others, however, unpacked their bags. They made the new ‘online space’ their home. It quickly became familiar and engaging… and maybe now, they are wondering whether they want to repack their bags.
The post COVID-19 church may be a mixture of online and offline worship. But what I am currently learning most is the principle of growing deep together; how do we grow in both connection and engagement across either of those platforms?
Gathering together and growing deep together is the way we ‘do’ community. It may look different at each congregation. It may even look different within each congregation. But God’s Creative Word will continue to do God’s reCreative task of proclaiming the promise of God’s love for creation – in whatever format.
I would love to hear your stories. Or, if you would like to explore more about ‘unpacking your bags and worship’, contact the Department for Ministry and Mission.