How to Attend Church Online

How to Attend Church Online

In the current COVID-19 climate, it can be really difficult to feel like you’re part of a church community, especially since most everything is online. Spirituality is an important aspect of your life, and you should feel comfortable and uplifted by your faith community, no matter where it is. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to feel enriched and nourished by a virtual church. While it may take some trial and error, you can find an online church that really meets and fulfills your spiritual needs.

Method 1 of 3:
Engaging in the Service

1
Get dressed instead of attending in your pajamas. Attending virtual church may not be the same as attending in person, but your attitude can make a big difference! Pretend like you’re going to a physical church service by dressing up in your usual Sunday clothes. This can help you get the full worship experience, even if you’re watching from home. [1] X Research source If you don’t feel like getting fully dressed, just put on a nice shirt instead, since that’s all that’ll be visible on camera.
2
Sing along to the hymns even if you’re by yourself. The experience you get from online church really comes down to you. While there’s no obligation to sing along, you may feel more invested in the service if you join in with the worship leader. [2] X Research source
3
Watch the service with your friends and family. Invite your spiritual friends and relatives over to your home on Sunday so you can all enjoy the service together. You may get more out of the worship experience if you’re surrounded by other people, like you would be if you were attending a physical service. [3] X Research source
4
React the sermon at home. You may feel more spiritually invested in the service if you’re responding and engaging with the pastor, even if they can’t hear what you’re saying. Feel free to clap along or shout in response to the sermon, if that helps you feel more spiritually connected and invested. [4] X Research source For instance, you can clap your hands when the pastor makes a good point, or yell something like “Amen!”
5
Hold your phone sideways to see more of the service. If you’re on-the-go, you may not have time to queue up the service on your TV or computer. It’s completely fine if you’re watching on your phone—just hold your phone horizontally so you can view the service in landscape mode. This way, you can see more of what’s happening in the service. [5] X Research source
6
Set aside grape juice and crackers if your church offers communion. Search your pantry and refrigerator for simple replacements you can use for the communion sacraments. Follow along with the virtual service, using crackers and grape juice instead of bread and wine. [6] X Research source If you plan on attending online church frequently, it may help to buy some extra juice and crackers ahead of time.
7
Participate in a virtual coffee hour if your church hosts one. Check the church’s social media or website to see if they hold “coffee hour,” or a period where congregation members can interact. This process may differ depending on the type of church service you’re attending, so watch for special instructions from your worship community. [7] X Research source
8
Avoid making a lot of noise if you’re joining a public virtual space. Certain streaming formats, like Zoom, involve many people joining 1 call to watch a service. If you’re participating in this kind of service, try to be mindful of any background noise coming from your computer, tablet, or phone, so you don’t disrupt other people’s worship experiences. [8] X Research source It may help to “mute” your microphone as soon as you enter the room.
9
Don’t introduce yourself if you’re joining a service through a collaborative platform, like Zoom. Platforms like Zoom can be tricky to navigate, especially if you’re joining a call with lots of other people. Try not to speak up right away—there are likely a lot of other people joining at the same time as you, and introducing yourself may make it difficult for others to hear and understand what’s going on. Instead, wait for a good time to join the conversation. [9] X Research source
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Method 2 of 3:
Joining the Service

1
Check online to see if your church hosts online services. Visit your church’s website to see if and when a service is held. Confirm how you’re supposed to join/attend the service ahead of time, so you’ll have an easier time on Sunday. Facebook Live and Zoom are common virtual worship platforms, though your church may use another type of technology. [10] X Research source
2
Log into Facebook to view a service if it’s offered through Facebook Live. Search a certain church on Facebook to see if they have a page. Many churches use Facebook to broadcast their services every Sunday. In this case, pull up their page to find their live stream, where they’ll broadcast the service. Using this interface, you can comment on the service while it’s happening live, and use different reactions to show how you’re feeling throughout the service. [11] X Research source Any reactions or comments you make on a live video will be kept when the video is archived. Some churches may upload pre-recorded videos of their services, instead of streaming them live.
3
Join a Zoom call provided by your church if they provide a Zoom link. Look for a special Zoom link provided by the church on their social media or website. Click on the link at the specified service time to tune in. Depending on the church, some spiritual leaders may share a live video, or use the “screen-sharing” function to help the service move along. [12] X Research source Zoom also has a “break-out” room feature, where individuals can be divided into smaller group chats. Some churches may use this feature during or after the service.
4
Browse your church website to see if they use a different streaming provider. There’s a lot of technology out there that’s available for different faith communities, like Webex. Take a look at the church’s website or social media to find specific instructions on how they broadcast their services every Sunday, so you can be ready to attend. [13] X Research source For instance, some churches may also stream their services on YouTube.[14] X Research source
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Method 3 of 3:
Choosing a New Church

1
Join a large, online church for a widespread sense of community. Online churches are a great option to consider, especially if you’re looking to invest your time into a faith community. Search online for different online churches and see if any of them align with your beliefs. With online churches, you don’t have to worry about attending in person, so you can realistically attend a church that’s on the opposite side of the country or world. [15] X Research source For reference, the Life.Church, Church of the Highlands, and Saddleback Church are some large faith communities that you may be interested in joining. Keep time zones in mind when joining an online church, especially if it isn’t located near you.
2
Search for online services in your area for a localized experience. Look up some of the local churches in your community. Browse their websites and see what kinds of info comes up. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many churches are now offering online services, which may be convenient for your personal schedule. [16] X Research source If you attended church in the past, see if your old church is hosting online services.
3
Tune into different services to see what you like. There’s no need to commit to a new church right off the bat. Instead, feel free to join different live streams each week, and see if any of the services or sermons resonate with you. If you can’t decide, there’s nothing wrong with trying out different services in the meantime. [17] X Research source
Advertisement

Method 1 of 3:
Engaging in the Service

1
Get dressed instead of attending in your pajamas. Attending virtual church may not be the same as attending in person, but your attitude can make a big difference! Pretend like you’re going to a physical church service by dressing up in your usual Sunday clothes. This can help you get the full worship experience, even if you’re watching from home. [1] X Research source If you don’t feel like getting fully dressed, just put on a nice shirt instead, since that’s all that’ll be visible on camera.
2
Sing along to the hymns even if you’re by yourself. The experience you get from online church really comes down to you. While there’s no obligation to sing along, you may feel more invested in the service if you join in with the worship leader. [2] X Research source
3
Watch the service with your friends and family. Invite your spiritual friends and relatives over to your home on Sunday so you can all enjoy the service together. You may get more out of the worship experience if you’re surrounded by other people, like you would be if you were attending a physical service. [3] X Research source
4
React the sermon at home. You may feel more spiritually invested in the service if you’re responding and engaging with the pastor, even if they can’t hear what you’re saying. Feel free to clap along or shout in response to the sermon, if that helps you feel more spiritually connected and invested. [4] X Research source For instance, you can clap your hands when the pastor makes a good point, or yell something like “Amen!”
5
Hold your phone sideways to see more of the service. If you’re on-the-go, you may not have time to queue up the service on your TV or computer. It’s completely fine if you’re watching on your phone—just hold your phone horizontally so you can view the service in landscape mode. This way, you can see more of what’s happening in the service. [5] X Research source
6
Set aside grape juice and crackers if your church offers communion. Search your pantry and refrigerator for simple replacements you can use for the communion sacraments. Follow along with the virtual service, using crackers and grape juice instead of bread and wine. [6] X Research source If you plan on attending online church frequently, it may help to buy some extra juice and crackers ahead of time.
7
Participate in a virtual coffee hour if your church hosts one. Check the church’s social media or website to see if they hold “coffee hour,” or a period where congregation members can interact. This process may differ depending on the type of church service you’re attending, so watch for special instructions from your worship community. [7] X Research source
8
Avoid making a lot of noise if you’re joining a public virtual space. Certain streaming formats, like Zoom, involve many people joining 1 call to watch a service. If you’re participating in this kind of service, try to be mindful of any background noise coming from your computer, tablet, or phone, so you don’t disrupt other people’s worship experiences. [8] X Research source It may help to “mute” your microphone as soon as you enter the room.
9
Don’t introduce yourself if you’re joining a service through a collaborative platform, like Zoom. Platforms like Zoom can be tricky to navigate, especially if you’re joining a call with lots of other people. Try not to speak up right away—there are likely a lot of other people joining at the same time as you, and introducing yourself may make it difficult for others to hear and understand what’s going on. Instead, wait for a good time to join the conversation. [9] X Research source
Advertisement

Method 2 of 3:
Joining the Service

1
Check online to see if your church hosts online services. Visit your church’s website to see if and when a service is held. Confirm how you’re supposed to join/attend the service ahead of time, so you’ll have an easier time on Sunday. Facebook Live and Zoom are common virtual worship platforms, though your church may use another type of technology. [10] X Research source
2
Log into Facebook to view a service if it’s offered through Facebook Live. Search a certain church on Facebook to see if they have a page. Many churches use Facebook to broadcast their services every Sunday. In this case, pull up their page to find their live stream, where they’ll broadcast the service. Using this interface, you can comment on the service while it’s happening live, and use different reactions to show how you’re feeling throughout the service. [11] X Research source Any reactions or comments you make on a live video will be kept when the video is archived. Some churches may upload pre-recorded videos of their services, instead of streaming them live.
3
Join a Zoom call provided by your church if they provide a Zoom link. Look for a special Zoom link provided by the church on their social media or website. Click on the link at the specified service time to tune in. Depending on the church, some spiritual leaders may share a live video, or use the “screen-sharing” function to help the service move along. [12] X Research source Zoom also has a “break-out” room feature, where individuals can be divided into smaller group chats. Some churches may use this feature during or after the service.
4
Browse your church website to see if they use a different streaming provider. There’s a lot of technology out there that’s available for different faith communities, like Webex. Take a look at the church’s website or social media to find specific instructions on how they broadcast their services every Sunday, so you can be ready to attend. [13] X Research source For instance, some churches may also stream their services on YouTube.[14] X Research source
Advertisement

Method 3 of 3:
Choosing a New Church

1
Join a large, online church for a widespread sense of community. Online churches are a great option to consider, especially if you’re looking to invest your time into a faith community. Search online for different online churches and see if any of them align with your beliefs. With online churches, you don’t have to worry about attending in person, so you can realistically attend a church that’s on the opposite side of the country or world. [15] X Research source For reference, the Life.Church, Church of the Highlands, and Saddleback Church are some large faith communities that you may be interested in joining. Keep time zones in mind when joining an online church, especially if it isn’t located near you.
2
Search for online services in your area for a localized experience. Look up some of the local churches in your community. Browse their websites and see what kinds of info comes up. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many churches are now offering online services, which may be convenient for your personal schedule. [16] X Research source If you attended church in the past, see if your old church is hosting online services.
3
Tune into different services to see what you like. There’s no need to commit to a new church right off the bat. Instead, feel free to join different live streams each week, and see if any of the services or sermons resonate with you. If you can’t decide, there’s nothing wrong with trying out different services in the meantime. [17] X Research source
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