This is not the time to pull away and neglect meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing. In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward as we anticipate that day dawning. Hebrews 10:25 TPT
At the beginning of the Covid pandemic, people were forced to shelter at home to avoid the spread of the virus. Even after the shelter-in-place order was lifted, the government was still warning people to avoid social gatherings. Thus, restaurants and other businesses in the hospitality industry suffered a significant drop in their revenue because of the major decrease in the number of customers they were servicing.
While things are seemingly getting back to normal, in some cases, many people are still afraid to attend public gatherings like church services. Consequently, most churches are experiencing a significant drop in the number of people who attend their Sunday services. This means many churches have had to readjust their operation strategy to compensate for the reduction in the number of volunteers who help with the operation of local churches by serving in diverse ministries.
While individuals should continue to take precautions against Covid by wearing masks in public places, we should do our best to avoid living in isolation. We were created for community and not seclusion. Because of Covid, many people have lost their social skills and are struggling to reconnect with others. But Hebrews 10:25 reminds us “This is not the time to pull away and neglect meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing. In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward as we anticipate that day dawning.”
It may be convenient to stay at home to watch Sunday service online, but it is more meaningful and life-changing to make the sacrifice to attend the service in person. We should start decontaminating ourselves from zoom and reprioritize person-to-person contact. The longer we stay isolated the more vulnerable we remain spiritually. Our spiritual enemy wants us to remain in a state of isolation so he can defeat us quicker. He knows when two or more people are gathered, they encourage one another and draw strength from each other. That type of strength is difficult to defeat.
When Jesus was praying in the desert alone, the devil tempted Him three times. When Elijah went into the desert to run away from Jezebel, he became chronically depressed and felt like his life had no purpose and wanted to die. If the disciples had stayed in the upper room after the ascension of Jesus, the Church of Jesus Christ would have never been created. But the Holy Spirit came upon them and forced them to leave the upper room and go out to have corporate worship. Consequently, more than 3000 people were saved. Later in Acts 2:42-47, we learn the new believers continue to live in a community, and people kept joining that community because it was inviting, loving, caring, and Spirit-led.
The best way to ensure that our local church grows numerically is by our physical presence in church services. One of the reasons many small churches remain small is that most people want to join churches that are growing numerically. Our physical presence in church gatherings is an invitation to others to join that community of believers. It lets them know they will be loved and prayed for by many in their hour of need.
The Church of Jesus Christ was created to be a person-to-person gathering. As great as zoom is, the church experience cannot be an online experience. People need to see others and be seen by others physically for the Body of Christ to remain a living organism. It’s time we rediscover our social skills and reconnect with others through barbecues, eating at restaurants, attending small groups in person, going to movies, and certainly attending Sunday worship services in person. These are some of the ways to avoid the isolation trap.
Questions for Personal Reflection
How are you encouraging others to come out of isolation?
What are the benefits of living in a spirit of community with others?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, I thank you for inviting me to be a member of the body of Christ. Help me to be socially engaged in the community I live and called to serve.