Hi all, I mostly lurk and read what more learned people have to say. I'd love to know what you all think about this:
For close to 6 months now the entire Church population (at least in the USA) has effectively been 'inactive'. I know I know, home-centered worship and all that. It's great! Which actually is part of what I'm wondering. The few people with kids, that I've talked to about 'home church' have mostly had positive experiences. My brother, who's a bishop, has enjoyed the extra time at home and the convenience of meeting remotely, for example. I've found it similarly pleasant. My family has had some profound Sunday experiences. We do Come Follow Me almost every night which is almost like a nightly FHE. I know there are others who don't have that kind of experience. They might be isolated and alone, or have unstable family situations, and so on. But we're all experiencing something unique in our "regular" Church lives.
Building on that thought, how are the youth experiencing this moment? What kind of long term affect will separation from the weekly tradition of going to Church, participating in classes and programs, and regular connections have on this generation as they grow in to adulthood? How will they view weekly attendance? Will they think it unsafe? Will they view it as necessary in some fundamental way? I think my kids will look back with fondness on the time we've been able to grow closer together. What will that memory do to their view of being active?
Lastly, Missionary service. I really feel for the missionaries in our ward. They are very limited in what activities they can do. Our sisters are even teaching someone in another country over video conferencing. In someways they have become a charity for the ward members to support with increased requests to host the missionaries for porch-visits or 'drive by prayers' in the Stake Center parking lot. I imagine how tough that would be on my mission if I couldn't go to someone's house to teach a lesson, tract or even go street contacting. It seems like missions right now aren't really working. I know of young people who want to serve a mission, but don't want to serve THIS kind of mission with home-mtc, and being isolated in an apartment somewhere.
So far I believe the Church's response has been very competent. A lot of changes happened just in time helping is better cope with the current moment. That certainly seems inspired. (Scouts, Come Follow Me, Home centered gospel, etc).
What I'd love to hear from you is, what lasting effects you think this current moment will have on the Church as an institution, tradition, or practice? Will we need to rethink missionary service? Weekly worship? How about this rising generation? How will they see things?
Thanks! (I'm usually rather busy and don't have time to post much but I'll enjoy your answers).