Pursuing the local church
Written by Cole Stovall
YAMC Member Murfreesboro Presbytery
We all know being a part of the church is more than being in an audience. But I’m not gonna lie, it’s tough to feel connected to your local church body in the midst of these “black-mirror” times. These days, I, like many others, try my darnedest to limit time spent on social media platforms for my own sanity. Up to now I’ve done a good job with these time limits and have nearly eliminated my Facebook usage. Fast forward to a global pandemic that requires self-isolation and strict regulations on mass gathering. Suddenly, Facebook becomes more important and it becomes something greater than we previously thought. Now this resource is truly a connector that allows virtual church. I’ve caught glimpses of meaningful connection in my church body in Winchester, TN. We watch our sermons live on Facebook, circulate prayer lists on Facebook, and just generally have a good time on Facebook.
In the past I’ve had a hard time seeing virtual as real and had difficulty accepting the sincerity of lives shared virtually. I miss meeting in person, with no restrictions, with my church family. But, for me, this virus has opened a growth opportunity. An opportunity to find some balance. Through this, I must learn to pursue my local church and the greater body of Christ the same way I am pursued.
Pursuing your church doesn’t have to be some grand gesture or rich theological debate (although those are welcome 😊). Simply reaching out to those who may be lonely in this time is enough. In addition to checking on those in need, we can participate in activities like bible studies and sermons with extreme convenience. Most Sundays, I don’t even brush my teeth before the Facebook Live sermon!
If you are like me, you may be tired of scrolling over posts with a sunshine filter. These produced narratives of lives lived make our own place in the world seem dull by comparison. But hopefully in the coming days and weeks, you and I can embrace these social media platforms for the resource they are becoming and can be more of. Connect with your church the best you can and if they’re anything like mine, they’ll embrace you with a warm virtual hug.
This blog is part of the year long focus on Young Adult Ministry & the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Make sure to follow this blog, social media accounts, and subscribe to Cumberland Presbyterian Magazine for more. Blogs in this series are below: