Come Ready to Worship

Come Ready to Worship
 Image (c) depositphotos.com/rmarmion
When it is time to go to church, are you excited and ready to go or do you drag your feet, thinking of a boring morning ahead? Did you know there are some things you can do to turn the worship service from a boring chore to complete to a time you can really worship God? Here's the first step:

Come Ready To Worship

There are several things you can do when you get to the church building that will help you get ready for the worship service.
  • Get a drink.
  • Use the restroom. (It is distracting to get up and leave in the middle of the service.)
  • Get a kids activity bag (to use during the sermon). If your church doesn't have one, you can make one yourself (see below).
  • If available, get the kids sermon notes or a bulletin. Write down what you hear or draw pictures to remind you what was said during the sermon. This is also a great place to write down any questions you have about the things you hear in the service.
  • Prepare your offering.
Last Sunday I taught a group of three-year-olds a song to help them remember what to do.
Sung to the tune of “London Bridges:” Get a drink and use the restroom, Use the restroom, use the restroom. Get a drink and use the restroom Before church.

Excuses, Excuses

Let's be honest. All of us have Sundays when we just don't want to go to church. You stayed up late last night playing and all you can think about is your cozy bed. You couldn't find something you wanted to wear and are upset you had to go without it. There was a big fight in the car on the way. You don't want to go because you might run into that person. The reasons are endless. This is a funny song I heard when I was a girl about reasons people give to skip church. Have you ever used any of these?
"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)

Attitude Check

"God is spirit. So the people who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." John 4:25 (ERV)
No matter what mood you are in when you get to church, God can help you focus and worship Him. The secret is to pray. Ask God to help you focus on Him. Ask Him to take away any distractions. Ask Him to teach you something new today. Ask Him to help you worship Him.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith." Hebrews 12:1-2a (NIV)
Here's the other thing to do.
"So, what if you are offering your gift at the altar and remember that someone has something against you? Leave your gift there and go make peace with that person. Then come and offer your gift." Matthew 5:23-24 (ERV)
When we worship God, we give Him an offering of praise. We cannot fully do that if there is someone we need to tell we are sorry. Do that first, then you can focus on God and worship Him fully.

Minimize Distractions

Did you know bored children (and some adults) use the excuses of going to the restroom and getting a drink just to leave the room? This happens especially during prayer time, the sermon, or the invitation and it can be very distracting for other worshipers. Instead of learning what God is trying to teach them or worshiping God in song or prayer, they may see you walk through the room and wonder where you are going. Does that help them worship God? Now, I realize this is a cultural thing. Some cultures think nothing of it for people to be moving, talking, and doing who knows what throughout the service. Right now I am talking specifically to those who worship in churches where most people stay in their seats during the service. Instead of disrupting others by leaving the room when you are bored, try bringing something quite to church that you can use. Writing and coloring items are great. Kids can bend and play with a paperclip or chenille stick (pipe cleaner) to move a bit. What else can you think of to add to your "sermon activity bag"? Now you're ready. Let's go to worship!
"I rejoiced with those who said to me, 'Let us go to the house of the Lord.'" Psalm 122:1 (NIV)
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