COVID, the Church, and Spiritual Formation

COVID has created so many challenges for the church. Gathering is a problem. Embracing and hugging is a problem. Singing is a problem. And for so many of us, these are the things have been vital for our faith walk. Being together. Holding each other. Singing together. Suddenly, it's all gone.

What is church supposed to look like in this season of COVID? What happens to Christianity in an era of germ theory, where keeping our distance is how we care for and protect each other?

Like you, I've wrestled with these questions. And no great answers have come to me. But large gathering, big auditorium, event-driven church expressions have been revealed to be very fragile during seasons of pandemic. Consequently, one thing seems clear: we are being called to a more solitary, contemplative, and monastic journey.

Specifically, we can't rely upon a church staff, a large building, and a large gathering to organize our faith experiences. Yes, we can get some things online from our churches, but this season demands that we take increased personal responsibility for our own spiritual formation. And by and large that means turning toward spiritual routines, rituals, and practices that shape our hours, days, and weeks. That is what I mean when I say we're being called to a contemplative, monastic journey. Deprived of large gatherings focused on sermons and singing, we have to lean into rhythms we practice in solitude or with a smaller group.

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