By now, you’ve undoubtedly heard the term “social bubble,” or “COVID bubble”— a concept that is being put into practice in many places as part of transitioning into a post-lockdown world.

“If you’re feeling lonely or isolated, Dr. Francis suggests creating a “COVID bubble” with a set of family members or friends who are like-minded and take similar precautions. Also known as a “social pod” or “quaranteam,” a bubble can provide a safer way to socialize with people outside your immediate household.

Our social bubble can be a powerful way for us to encourage one another and build each other’s faith in-person, while being considerate of one another’s health. Here are 3 ways to start building a bubble with your house church today.

Note: each Bay Area county is transitioning at different paces, and the degree to which you are permitted to meet in person will vary. Please consult your local government’s website for up to date guidelines.

1. Believe in the bubble

For I long to visit you so I can bring you some spiritual gift that will help you grow strong in the Lord. [12] When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours.

Romans 1:11-12 NLT

Building a bubble starts with believing in the incredible power of fellowship to make us stronger.

We’re grateful for virtual tools like Zoom that have enabled us to connect over these long months of sheltering at home. But, as many of us have experienced, Zoom fatigue is real; video calls can’t replace the encouragement of person-to-person connection.

The spiritual friendships in our bubble can help us in a number of ways.  For example, the Bible teaches that friendships help us by:

  • Relieving anxiety – Proverbs 12:25 NIV Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.
  • Creating intimacy – 1 John 1:6 MSG But if we walk in the light, God himself being the light, we also experience a shared life with one another, as the sacrificed blood of Jesus, God’s Son, purges all our sin.
  • Encouraging growth – Ephesians 4:16 NLT He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

Building your own bubble begins with believing that this group will be a great source of spiritual strength.

2. Begin small

The exact number of people with whom you meet in-person will depend on a number of factors, including local public health guidelines, your household’s health precautions, and your comfortability level.

We recommend starting small. Choose a small group of friends, or partner with another household, or just pair up with someone on Sundays. You can watch the live stream together and enjoy the fellowship before and after.

When you’re ready, you can expand your bubble to meet together as a house church.

3. Be safe

As we open up more, it is important we keep one another safe by wearing our masks, keeping socially distant and meeting outdoors.

Always plan to meet with your bubble outdoors in uncrowded spaces. Backyards and front yards are great, but if you don’t have them you can try an uncrowded park or courtyard.

According to the experts, being outside allows us to have plenty of space between us so that we are much less likely to get each other sick:

“Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease specialist at the UCSF School of Medicine, said that in all circumstances the outdoors are safer than indoors. It is easier to maintain social distancing and the virus does not have as many opportunities to spread. That’s why tuberculosis patients were always placed out in the fresh air. “If you want to meet people, meet them outside,” he said. “It is all about risk reduction.”

SF Chronicle

As we come together and help each other grow, we will continue to build the church God intended, and bring healing to the world around us.

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