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New Normal?

Normal: adjective. Conforming to a standard; usual, typical, regular, or expected. (

Church: noun. A building used for public Christian worship or the whole body of Christian believers. (

Over the last year lots of big things have happened to my husband and I personally. Not all bad things but lots of big things! A number of people have said to us, “You need to work out your new normal!” I can see where that advice is coming from but I’m not too sure it’s always the best advice. 

Everyone in the world at the moment is experiencing something big!! This pandemic has thrown us all off balance. The phrase ‘new normal’ is being banded about all the time. What if this is one of those situations where God doesn’t want us to find a new normal? What if God doesn’t want us to settle into a new routine or find a typical or regular way of doing things again? What if God is demanding something totally extraordinary from us, something ab-normal?! 

Normally we would go to church on a Sunday. For a lot of people that means going to a public church building and sitting in rows with other church goers to sing songs, pray together, hear a sermon and share fellowship over a cup of tea or coffee. If your church excels in fellowship it may be filter coffee with biscuits or even cake!! But that cannot happen right now because of the pandemic, and as restrictions are lifted the normal church service cannot resume. In the UK there can’t be gatherings of more than 30 people, we aren’t allowed to sing, and the logistical nightmare of 30 people being served a hot drink from 2 meters means refreshments aren’t really happening. So is that what our ‘new normal’ is then? Is that what we are going to have to settle with as the ‘usual way’ of doing things? 

Maybe this is the time for something extraordinary and un-usual. What if ‘church’ looked like 2 or 3 households getting together, with all the generations including the children, and sharing food together, in a home or garden? What if the conversation was all about talking about where they have all seen God this week in their everyday lives? And what if worship was praying together, about everything, and drawing everyone into the presence of God? What if God wants church to be organic and flexible rather than routine and typical? 

In 1 Corinthians 14: 26-33, Paul talks about people gathering and one person having a word of instruction, another a psalm and yet another a revelation. I don’t think he meant that there was a rota for each of those things and when it was your turn you prepared a psalm, a word of instruction or a revelation. I think as people gathered together, God himself was there and inspired one with a psalm, another with a word of instruction and yet another with a revelation. In Acts 2: 24-47, Luke speaks of early believers gathering together in their homes, sharing food and breaking bread. The Lord added to their number daily!! God has given us all the tools we need to ‘be church’ like this. 

Maybe the ab-normal thing God is demanding of us is to go back to the Acts 2 and 1 Corinthians 14 version of being church!! And how truly extraordinary would it be if that was how God chooses to grow His church?!

Rachel is the Prayer Coordinator for the Inspire Movement.

If you are interested in finding out more about what it might look like to use Inspire for an ecology of Acts 2 fellowship, then CONTACT US

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