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How Covid-19 changed worship

Praying from home has now become ‘the new normal’ for a good number of months, since the outbreak of Covid-19. Even after churches opening, some worshipers do not feel it is safe enough to congregate just yet. 

With online church services, a number of Christians are still finding it safe and convenient to continue praying online and send their offerings and tithe through mobile money and other cashless means. So, are churches still relevant? 

 

Tom Gakumba, a pastor at Healing Centre Church Remera, says that churches will always be relevant as what is happening today should never be a point of focus to divert people’s minds from understanding the power of the church. 

 

To him, Church is a place of fellowship, worship, growth and nurturing spiritual leaders. A church is a family just like biological families—which is why spiritual churches must exist. 

 

“Just because we have access to family-related information due to advancement of technology does not take away the relevance of our biological families.

“Let us meditate on Hebrews 10:24-25 that says, ‘And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching’,” Gakumba says.

According to Fabrice Nzeyimana, the worship and creative arts director at Christian Life Assembly (CLA), Covid-19 is not the first challenge churches have faced. Over the last 2000 years, the church as an institution has faced worse, but always survived—yet few old institutions are still standing.

Besides the main purpose of worshipping God (which is a right in our constitution), the church educates the children, strengthens families, and is a pillar in the spiritual and mental wellbeing of people. Church when done as it should, is also a big partner of the government in the development of the nation, he adds.

Nzeyimana highlights Acts 2:46-47 that says, “In purpose, they went to the Temple every day, ate at each other’s homes, and shared their food with glad and humble hearts. They were praising God and enjoying the good will of all the people. Every day the Lord was adding to their number those who were being saved.”

In this scripture, he explains the importance of meeting in homes first but also making it a priority to attend the temple. As much as possible that’s the picture that’s encouraged. 

However, Nzeyimana notes that in times like this, the church cannot overlook the pandemic to turn careless. We are a big partner of the government and must support the efforts of fighting the pandemic. 

“We must stay home, whenever it’s necessary, or when it’s the right thing to do. However, we must understand that that doesn’t make fellowship irrelevant. It’s done for a purpose and we must not forget why it’s done that way. Christians ought to develop a strong relationship with God, whether they are at home or in church,” he says.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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