Quarantine Edition: Covid 19 and the Online church

Why I miss Church

As each day goes by I miss going for onsite church services, I for one have a love – hate relationship with online churches. While it is just an amazing feeling to sit on my bed in my pyjamas or wrapper as the case may be, I miss the entire process that goes into waking up early and dressing in my Sunday best , just in time for first service in my church.

Christianity is a religion associated with a lot of activities ranging from singing, dancing and a lot of theatrics.

Thankfully I live in Nigeria, a very religious country and we have a lot of churches and I have attended quite a number of denominations. From being born into the Catholic church then being inducted briefly to the Deeper life church, The Anglican communion and the numerous variations of Pentecostal churches. At the core of all these is my love for God and the need to connect with God’s people. The good book already said we should not forsake the gathering of the brethren so who am I not to identify with the body of Christ wherever I find myself.

when it comes to going to churches in Nigeria, I can say that I have had a wholesome experience. It is easy to admit that Church could be filled with sinners,imperfect humans and stuff, but Jesus came to die for sinners not the righteous folks. I know sometimes we could get carried away with fashion and style and other good stuff that women and men of God wear to the house of God, don’t worry I am not here to judge you.

The emergence of this pandemic has seen an experience of online churches like never before, while it is quite impressive to see the church innovate and adapt swiftly from onsite to online this post will dwell on the reasons why I miss the experience of an onsite church from the point of view of someone whose favourite past time is people watching.

One of the first things I learnt in my first year sociology class is the concept of latent (Unintended) and manifest(Intended) functions of anything including the religious institutions. While the online church performs the manifest functions of the church such as ministering the gospel to the saints, the onsite church has major latent functions which cannot be performed when members are in self isolation. These days, chairs, pews and church buildings are beginning to loose relevance.

Listening attentively to God’s word.

I am not a great dancer, but I for one miss the praise sessions and watching the choir do what they know how to do best, while learning new dance steps from them for the next worship service. I also miss the seemingly vain activities such as staring and admiring the choristers clad in whatever beautiful attire they have chosen to adorn themselves with and imagining how beautiful heaven would be because we would sing to God for all eternity. amazing innit?

As a fashion enthusiast believe me when I say I get fashion and style inspiration from church I also get information on a good plug for dresses shoes and even minute things such as protector for my heels.

Taking a cue from what happened with the spread of the virus in South Korea, we know that the church can either help reduce or increase the spread of the virus.

Who would have thought that a time would come when saving our lives would entail staying in our homes and not gathering with the brethren in church. I try so hard to follow online services keenly but its a real struggle guys and for people like me who work the 9-5 in Lagos with a social life is almost non existent, where do I wear my fine clothes. It is no news that Nigeria’s internet is expensive and unreliable, its so hard to dance and focus on praise and worship sessions when your internet is constantly trying to embarrass you and spoil my worship experience at home tufiakwa chukwu ekwela

I was glad when they said let us go into the house of the Lord

Communion services are no longer the same for orthodox churches. For Pentecostals like me who take communion on designated days,these days we take communion on each service you know to stay closer to our maker and farther from illnesses like the corona virus.

At the beginning of the shut down many people had fears: of loneliness and spiritual isolation. To many of us, the church is a community of people who pray together, and as social beings, we were not created to exist in isolation, we work better in communities that is why God sets the solitary in families.

These are trying times for the world and we look up to God and religion to help us understand the times we are in and make sense of it. I believe that this pandemic presents an opportunity for a creative system of worship and church service.

I would love to hear what you guys think of church services in quarantine, do you enjoy online services or do you miss physical church services like me.

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