A lot of people just go “through the motions” when it comes to going to church on Sundays — if they even bother to go at all. Here’s some thoughts (and rants) in the form of a list that may help you have a “Better” Lord’s Day this week.
1. Set Your Alarm Clock Fifteen Minutes Earlier
Seriously, if you dragged yourself into work five minutes late every day, somebody would fire your sorry behind, wouldn’t they? So why is it that coming in to worship halfway through the worship set doesn’t cause most people a pang of conscience? What does our consistently late arrival to church (verses arriving early or on time to work) say about the importance we place on the Lord’s place in our life? And don’t even try to call me a legalist about this — cuz’ I’m not buying. Besides, how do you expect to get a back-half-of-the-auditorium or end seat if you are late? You’re going to gripe no matter what time the alarm rings, so you might as well gripe and get to church on time.
2. Pray Yourself When Someone is Leading in Prayer
If you are “leading in prayer” and everyone is just listening to you, then you’re really not “leading” cuz’ no one is following. Besides, the person praying isn’t talking to you, so isn’t it kind of rude to be eaves dropping? So while the person who is leading in prayer, prays — you go to the Lord yourself with your own prayer.
3. Pay Attention to the Words
Seriously….this week, look at the words in your hymnal or on the screen like you’ve never seen them before and think about what you are saying. “Vain repetitions” may not always be about prayers. It could be about singing the same song for the thousandth time also. Here’s a twist, if you go to a church that sings praise songs, think about the fact that you are singing TO God and not just “about” him. That’ll change the way you sing!
4. Take Notes
I don’t mean take copious notes, but have a pen and paper handy to jot down a salient thought or two. You may never read them again, but it will help you pick out key Truths and remember them by simply writing them down. The cool thing is that there’s no test later.
5. Search Out Someone that’s New or Overlooked and Engage them in a Conversation
Don’t just simply give them the ol’ Baptist Brushoff — “HiHowYaDoin’GreatToSeeYa,Brother” line, but plop yourself down next to someone before or after church and get to know them. Ask them meaningful questions. Be interested. And don’t just visit your friends or the visitors that look like they’re rich, OK?
6. Sit With Your Family
I know, the kids will pitch a fit that will make you ineligible for the deacon board, but give it a shot. It does a family good to sit and worship together sometime. My dad always made us stay within “thumping distance” which meant that he kept us within arm’s length so that he could flick our ears when Sister Beaulah sneezed and rattled the wooden pews simultaneously sending us into paroxysms of laughter. But there is something special about seeing a family all sit together with their Bibles open listening to the Word. I particularly think this is important during communion.
7. Don’t Rush Off
Stick around church. It’s not NFL season yet, so what’s the big hurry? In fact, why not take one Sunday a month and invite a new or visiting family out to Taco Bell with you after church and connect to someone you haven’t actually known for twenty years? Fellowship (aka koinania) is more than shaking hands between verses 2 and 4 of the second hymn in a service.
Those are my first seven — why don’t you add your own thoughts?