It was with heavy hearts that we announced three days ago the suspension of our usual gatherings, such as Sunday worship services, Bible studies, prayer meetings, fellowship meetings, evangelism sessions, etc., until further notice. The recent measures that we have taken to maintain our coming together for worship services in smaller groups of 50 to 100 people, are no more feasible with the new advisory from the government. So the Board of Elders (BOE), having no other options, decided to suspend all church meetings for now.
The Sunday worship services have been pivotal in the spiritual nurture of our members and the ministries of our church. Those solemn assemblies of our church have provided us with many marvellous blessings of His presence, truth, love and communion. During our gatherings, the brethren have been channels of His gracious work towards one another. How blessed were those times of singing, praying, and hearing of God’s Word as a church!
The worship of God is the most sincere and passionate expression of our hearts’ love for God. The public worship of our God is to be maintained as much as possible, for it is our highest and foremost duty. King David has said, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD” (Psalm 122:1). Likewise, Psalm 84:1-2 express the deepest desire of a child of God for the public worship of God: “How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.” It is also declared in the same psalm that “a day in thy courts is better than a thousand” (Psalm 84:10a).
Lack of public worship, prayer meeting, Bible study and fellowship gathering can lead to spiritual deterioration of the people.
That is why Scripture commands us: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).
The live streaming of Sunday worship services (10 am & 6 pm respectively), and Tuesday prayer meeting (8 pm) are temporary measures that the BOE has put in place, with the prayer that the Lord will help us to resume our regular gatherings soon. In the coming weeks, the preachers and I will do our best to be in touch with you and minister to you, whenever it is
Advice to maintain the sanctity of worship
The words of Psalm 42:4-5 are the thoughts of a godly man who was prevented from going to the house of God for public worship. He was kept away from the LORD’s house by the hostility of his enemies. From far, he fondly remembered his previous participation of the worship in God’s house, and prepared himself to worship God with great devoutness. He wrote, “When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.”
Likewise, we, with reverence and love for our God, must eagerly prepare to worship God in our present situation. Let us be ready in our homes (or other convenient locations) and, like the psalmist, be stirred with joyful memories of worshipping with other believers in the church.
- Though you may be worshipping from home or another conducive place, remember that you are participating in the public worship of our great God. So, make every effort to have an uninterrupted, solemn time of worship (just like it is in the church).
- Call your family members (if they are Christians) to join the worship. (If you are the only Christian at home, and it is not conducive to worship at home, you may want to consider another location or a fellow believer’s home). Please make preparations early.
- Instruct your children to maintain the sanctity of worship by participating in the whole worship with seriousness and solemnity.
- Do not move about within the house.
- Be appropriately attired for the worship of God.
- Be respectfully seated and prepare your hearts in prayer 10 mins before the worship service starts.
- Be ready with the Bible and hymnal in your hands (Revival Hymns and Choruses). If you don’t have the hymn book, follow the lyrics on the screen and sing aloud reverentially to God whom we worship.
- Be participative in the order of worship – join in the reading of Scripture, singing and prayer.
- Avoid a casual or leisurely attitude. Do not approach the time of Sunday worship (or Tuesday prayer meeting for that matter) like the way you would watch TV or some video clips on your computer / mobile phones. Refrain from munching titbits or eating your meals, drinking coffee, etc.
Advice for streaming the webcast of the services
- Prepare your streaming devices (computer or TV screen) early and test them out.
- Ensure that your device is sufficiently charged or connected to the power supply.
- Turn on to audio/speaker mode (unless you are using an earpiece).
- If you plan to project / ‘screen cast’ the live streaming of the worship/prayer meeting, please ensure early that all your devices are connected and properly working.
Let us heed the exhortation of Psalm 96:9 – “O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.” May we draw nigh to God with hearts that are prepared and guided by His Word and Spirit.