11 Feb Getting Ready for Church on Sunday – Words of Grace – February 11, 2022
One of the most helpful disciplines I have learned as a member of Grace Community Church is to prepare myself for attending church on Sunday.
That may sound strange since I am the pastor and I preach most Sundays. If I don’t prepare the sermon, it will be obvious to all. I do prepare as a pastor, but I also try to prepare myself as a church member. That’s because most of what I do on Sundays, I do because I am a Christian.
Here is how I, a church member, get ready for church:
I start on Saturday night by going to bed early enough to be refreshed on Sunday morning. This also helps me wake up early enough not to be rushed to get to church. I want you, my brothers and sisters in Christ, to get the best of me when we gather for mutual encouragement.
I leave for church earlier than I need to. I could arrive just in time to do my pastoral things like check the microphone and preach the sermon. But then I would miss all the opportunities to see you and have brief connections and conversations with you. I would miss so much of what makes church life helpful to us. I want to see you face to face.
I pray for our congregation and other congregations while I drive to church. I want the Holy Spirit to use the word of God to engage our hearts to worship Him and build up one another in the faith.
As I park my car and walk into the building, I get myself in the mindset of a servant. For me, that means looking for people to greet, welcome, ask about, and pray with. For others it means doing the task they signed up for, like teaching, greeting, making coffee, and so many other things. It could also mean serving as a constant pray-er throughout the morning. Service could be helping a visitor get a bulletin, find a seat, and meet others. Service may be saying hello to someone who is alone. The servant mindset is embraced before we enter the building. And it is one of the most Christ-like things we will do all morning.
“But I have children!” Include them in as much of this preparation process as possible.
“But I don’t have much to offer a congregation.” Go back to the beginning and read these words again. You have you. Give us you.
I could say more about being at church on Sunday. But it seems to me that preparing for church will shape the way we attend church. This weekend, think about the best ways you can get ready for church this Sunday. I’ll meet you in the Gathering Hall and in John 8.