by Rev. Benjamin Chung (鍾立恆牧師)
After this shelter in place, how we consider and do “church” should not be the same. Now, some have chosen to stick to tradition. A few churches have chosen to “congregate” together and ignore the 6 ft. rule, much to the chagrin of the local authorities. Others were creative and had drive-in church worship, where families stayed in their cars and listened to the pastor preach, similar to a drive-in movie-theaters of old. In this way, the Covid-19 virus would stay within the confines of the family and in the car. But, some churches had police put nails at the driveway entrance to potentially deflate the tires if driven over or ticketed the driver of each car. It is an interesting world we live in right now.
For SFCBC, I chose to use Zoom because it is an effective way to interact and “fellowship”. Other pastors have shared how broadcasting a live sermon—or prerecorded on Thursday and posted on Sunday morning, as one pastor does--doesn’t really feel like “worship”. I agree. Especially when this pastor noticed only 50 people logging in live and then +300 views many hours later. To his astonishment, his Sunday Service attendance is typically under 50, so he is surprised there are that many more views! Back to my point, was there actually “worship” being led and done together if the entire broadcast is pre-recorded? I’m not attempting to shame any other churches, but my theological view is that we (including the pastor) have not actually “come together” if we preach and watch the video at different times. For those of us who are single or are the only believer in a house, this is how the greater body “gathers” at the same time. (The only counter argument is the family unit at home. Hopefully, even more worship is being done together!) In its various ways, let us consider Hebrews 10:25 (ESV), “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
That said, church isn’t just about the worship service. One pastor has each church member call 3 other people—EACH DAY! This way, they are communicating even more than normal! And they are showing concern, praying with one another, and being the Bride of Christ, as it should be. 1 Corinthians 12:24b-5 says, “But God has so composed the body giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.” Even if the church doors are closed, the church is active and alive! Our hearts are open with care and love. For your consideration: what are some new ways you are being the “church” during this shelter in place?
有了這居家抗疫令之後，我們考慮如何進行教會事工， 事奉的方式也不會一樣了。現在，有些教會選擇了堅持傳統。一些教堂選擇「聚集」在一起，而不理會6 尺距離的規則，這使地方當局造成了困擾。其他的教會很有創意，以駕車駛入的方式參加教會崇拜，家庭成員在車裡聆聽牧師的講道，就好像是去一個舊式的入場電影院一樣。這樣，Covid-19 病毒的傳播就只限於家庭和汽車範圍之內。但也有些教會讓警察在車道入口處釘上釘子可以令車胎放氣，以防 止車輛超越過去或可向司機開罰單。我們現在真是生活在一個有趣的世界。
對於三藩市浸信會，我選擇使用Zoom，因為它是一種提供互動和「團契」的有效方式。另有一位牧師則在周四預先錄製主日崇拜，然後在星期日早上發報 -- 感覺真不像是進行「崇拜」。我同意，尤其是當這位牧師留意到只有50 人即時現場登入，然而數小時後便有超過300 次瀏覽。令他驚奇的是，星期日崇拜出席率通常是少於50 人，因此他驚訝竞有這麼多的觀看次數！從回到我的觀點，如果整個崇拜都是預先錄製，那實際上我們是否真的一起「敬拜」呢？我並不是要羞辱其他教會，但我的神學觀點是，如果我們（在不同的時間）講道和觀看視頻，那我們（包括牧師）實際上並沒有「聚在一起」。對於我們當中那些單身或在家中唯一信主的人來說，這方式也就是讓更多的肢體可以在同一時間一起聚集（唯一仍然可以聚在一起敬拜的就是各自一家。 希望可以更多聚在一起崇拜！）。於各種方式中，讓我們思考希伯來書10:25 「你們不可停止聚會，好像那些停止慣了的人， 倒要彼此勸勉，既知道那日子臨近，就更當如此。」
正如所說，教會不只是與崇拜有關。一位牧師邀請每位會友每天打電話給三個人！這樣，他們交流的機會就比平時還多！他們互相顯出關心，彼此祈禱，如此就彰顯出「教會是基督的新婦」，弟兄姊妹之間有密切關係。 哥林多前書12:24下-25 說：「但神配搭這身子，把加倍的體面給那有缺欠的肢體，免得身上分門別類，總要肢體彼此相顧。」 即使教會的門是關閉了，但教會還是充滿活力的！我們的心是開著的並懷著愛與關懷。給您一點思考：在這居家 抗疫令期間，假如您要策劃教會的活動，您會有什麼新的方式表達您就是「教會」呢？