Next Sunday there will be a special guest in the worship service at your church. He has shown up before on Sunday but has been lost in the crowd. There are times where he has tried to speak but some didn’t listen. Other times he wanted to be engaged by the people but people were distracted by the songs they didn’t like or where they would eat lunch.
God will be present in worship this Sunday.
We don’t need to miss Him. We need to be prepared to engage with Him. And we should strive to eliminate all distractions that could keep us focused on lesser things.
This Sunday God wants to be the star of the show. He wants to be exalted over every name, in every song and through every sermon. Why? Because Sunday worship is always about God. It is not about the seeker and what he likes. It is not about the church member who has musical preferences different than others. Worship has always been and always will be about the church knowing and loving God.
So I wanted to spend some time encouraging us in ways for us to engage rather than being mindless in worship:
1) Connect Mind and Heart with the Words You Sing
Many times it’s easy to sing mindlessly. We can be distracted by the music. We could focus on lunch later or on a test we have in school this week. Maybe you are busy looking around at who all is present. However, remember that the Lord wants you to engage with Him.
Therefore, sing with your mind’s attention on the words and their meaning. Sing with a heart that makes the songs your own. Sing with your heart’s affection for the Lord.
2) Pray with the People Praying
Corporate prayer should always be taking place corporately. The pastor or church member that is praying before the church is not just letting us listen to his private prayer with God. He is praying on behalf of the church and with the church. Next Sunday when someone stands to pray, pray with them at your seat in one accord and in one Spirit.
3) Ask the Lord to Bless the Offering
The easiest time to disengage during a service might be when the offering is taken up. Yet this could be one of the most worshipful moments in worship. Instead of sitting in silence or listening to the music, spend time praying for the money being received. Pray that the money will impact believers in the church. Pray that the Lord will multiply the money and continue to bless the church. Most of all, ask the Lord to use the money to bring many to faith in Christ through the ministry.
4) Meditate on the Gospel during the Lord’s Supper
One of the greatest blessings in worship is the Lord’s Supper that was given to us to picture the salvation accomplished by Christ. Sadly, we can take this great blessing and miss out by not focusing on the gospel. During the Lord’s Supper let your mind rest on God’s saving work in Christ. Confess your sin and truly examine your hearts. And celebrate the truth that sin and death have been defeated and you have been reconciled to God.
5) Apply the Word to Your Life as you Listen
One danger in listening to sermons every Sunday is thinking that the sermon is about other people. Instead, members of the church should be diligent to do heart work every time the Word is preached. Ask the Lord to illuminate your heart when you hear the sermon and strive to apply the words you hear to your marriage, your workplace, your parenting, your relationship with friends, and your pursuit to be more like Jesus.
6) Come Sunday Ready to Minister
On Sunday’s we can get in the habit of going through the motions and losing sight of God being present. But it is equally true that we can be so focused on ourselves that we are not mindful of the people that God places around us. Hurting single mothers that need to have people pray with them. People from the community that need to hear the hope of the gospel. Fellow church members that need to hear the promises of God spoken to them from a brother or sister in Christ. Come on Sunday’s with a heart to minister to those around you.
So the next Sunday will soon be upon us. And we will gather together as the people of God. Singing songs about Jesus and hearing his Word preached. The question will not be “Will the Lord be present when we worship?” The question is: “Will we miss Him?”