“I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.” Psalm 122:1
Let’s face it, sometimes we aren’t all that excited when we go to church. The preacher is boring, the music is not to our liking,
the greeters at the door didn’t notice us, the coffee is cold and the seats are hard. Some weeks we leave church and can’t remember why we went in the first place.
It’s true that every now and then some things are off. There are times I didn’t enjoy listening to my own sermon. But what happens if you feel that way every week? What happens when you start resenting having to go to church? When worship gets boring? If you are consistently unhappy each week in church maybe the issue lies more within you than with the church.
Each week the music team, preacher, Sunday School teachers and other volunteers prepare ahead for the time of worship. What does your preparation look like? If you just show up are you really ready to be there. How do you prepare to offer your worship to God? Here are a few thoughts on being ready for worship on Sunday morning.
Be regular with your devotions throughout the week. Daily bible reading and prayer keeps you in touch with God and open to his Spirit. If you go from Sunday to Sunday without any thought about spiritual matters it may be harder to enter into the worship service.
Saturday night, before going to bed, pray for yourself and others. Ask the Holy Spirit to be at work in the preaching, music and fellowship so that you are able to receive from God. Ask the Holy Spirit to prepare you to offer your sacrifice of praise and that you will be completely present in the service.
Arrive on time, or even a little early. In our services we start with a ‘call to worship’; a prayer to settle our hearts. It’s an invitation to worship God and to receive from him. It sets the tone for our time together. If you wander in late you have missed an important part of our worship time together. It always takes time to greet people and get seated so allow for that time in your planning.
Be engaged. Sing the words of the songs as your prayer to God. Close your eyes and free yourself from distraction when there is corporate prayer. Listen for the reading of God’s word. (If the preacher is bad at least you can mediate on Scripture.) Follow the sermon, take notes and listen for what God is saying. If that sounds like work, well, it is. We aren’t to be passive in worship. We aren’t there for our entertainment. We are called by the Living God to enter into his presence and worship him.
Finally, if you have opportunity later on Sunday, talk with family or friends about what they found encouraging in the service. You might be surprised by how the service ministered to them. While not every week might ‘ring your bell’ others may leave church feeling very blessed.
Of course, it is possible that the preacher is disorganized and the musicians are off key but I tend to believe that if God is present it is worth being there.