How To Feed Your Faith When the Church Doors are Closed
Apr 3, 2020 · Rachel Syens
For many of us, Sunday is a day of faith formation. It’s a day we intentionally gather as a community of believers to hear God’s Word, to learn, to pray, and to set the tone for our week. We rely on our church to help us build our faith and strengthen our relationship with God. But in a world consumed by the COVID-19 pandemic, with our church doors closed, how can we continue our faith formation at a time when we need it most?
I’ve struggled with this personally. We are social creatures. We seek out others and desire to learn from our peers. As an extrovert, I often find that my faith formation and relationship with God blossom in the presence of my church community. Striving to strengthen my faith on my own has been challenging. But I’ve found that intentionally setting aside time to seek God and utilizing new resources to help me delve into his Word have enabled me to establish a routine and grow even closer to God. Here are some of the tools I’ve found useful. I pray they help you continue to feed your faith formation during this time of isolation too:
Daily time in prayer
Do you already spend daily time in prayer? Perhaps when you first wake, or just before sleeping? Me too! But I have also started to find new, small moments in my day to pray. For you, it might be during a daily walk you’ve recently added to your routine, or when you’re tending to your houseplants, or while cooking when you normally would have been eating out with friends. These small moments can be a transformative time to clear your mind and focus on God. God uses these small moments to comfort us, and in that comfort, our faith can grow.
Daily Bible reading
Spending time each day in the Word helps us feed our faith formation. You can start a challenge to read an entire book of the Bible, the whole Old Testament or New Testament, or perhaps even the entire Bible! You don’t have to create a plan on your own, either. Bible apps like Through the Word and Read Scripture can help guide your journey. You can dig deeper into your reading with podcasts from The Bible Recap or follow this online plan from Words of Hope.
If you’re looking for individual studies to help guide your reading, Groundwork offers a variety of podcast series with corresponding episode guides, blogs, and links to scripture. Start at Genesis with “The Beginning,” walk in faith with “Ruth,” and gain insight and wisdom from “The Essence of Proverbs.” You can also listen to individual episodes on the Groundwork website to help guide your faith formation through Scripture.
Using a daily devotion is a great way to establish and maintain a routine. Our sister ministry, Today, offers free, short daily devotions. These devotions are a wonderful way to start your day and spend a few minutes calming your heart, clearing your mind, and setting your focus on God. You can sign up to receive these devotionals through a daily email, or you can find them posted on the Today website. Devotions provide a great reminder that God is still with us, and that we can still learn about him and his world despite being physically separated from our church and community.
Worship music at home
Are you missing out on your church worship team at home? You can find worship music online to keep you company and focus your heart and mind on God during these days of isolation. Create free accounts with Spotify or Pandora and search for your favorite worship artists. Listen to worship playlists or stations. Sit quietly in reflection or sing loudly. Worship during your daily walk or play this worship music in the background while you work. Let the music comfort you, lift you up, and bring you closer to God.
Dig deeply into God’s Word and try new ways to intentionally nurture your spiritual life. We may be living in unprecedented times, but God’s desire to have a relationship with us has not changed. May you be encouraged, uplifted, and may your faith flourish in God’s wisdom and love while you wait for the day we can gather with our brothers and sisters in Christ for in-person worship.