How to go to Church
We need to relearn how to do church. You might think “Why? What could be more simple? And this is it. If a person even goes to church, it is usually just to attend and leave. We may say “Hi” to a few acquaintances and shake a few hands. But we then we go home or to some planned activity, unassociated with the Body or even Christ. This doesn’t seem like a ” problem to many of us. However, compared to God’s purpose for the church, it is weak. It is impotent! It doesn’t meet his purpose and his expectations.
It hardly seems necessary to teach how to go to church, does it? We know how it is. It is simple. Do what others do! Just watch closely. We will learn from the body, right? You know, grab the kids show up on time, sit, stand, bow your head, listen and leave. We sing some songs and listen to a message. We have done our job. We have fulfilled our duty. What more is there?
However this isn’t it.
In this, we are going to talk about how to make church service more fulfilling, purposeful, and effective. We need to reestablish its purpose and importance in our lives. It is imperative!
Why do we go to church? What does the Bible teach?
The Bible says to encourage one another. Yes, you receive teaching and worship. Yet, it doesn’t stop there. We are to encourage each other to faith and good deeds. This is what the Bible describes as gathering together. states “…and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds…” This is very purposeful. However, you get used to doing nothing. Moreover you do not even act on the word given from the pulpit. It is just another nice Sunday.
In this, God’s service, you will do church differently. You will take personal responsibility. You are responsible to encourage others in faith, love and good deeds. You will endeavor and not be satisfied with a Sunday without it.
But, how can you change church. Can you run it or admonish the pastor for change? Unlikely, yes! But you might be surprised that he wants you to go to work in the congregation. He can’t do it all. So, yes, you can’t change the service but you can change you. You can approach the service differently. You can change how you see it and how you use it. This will take some planning and new activities.
This is how; Go with expectancy to encourage and be encouraged. This will take some planning and prayer before church. Start thinking in terms of giving and not receiving. This happens before you get in the door. Sit in your car and get your head together. Set your plan and then go to work. You’ll see your experience and joy for church grow.
Show up to church a little early and stay a little late. Meet people and invite them into friendship and conversation. Look especially for new people and those not connected. Sit by them in church and engage in sharing lives.
Ask questions. Find out their concerns and prayer needs. Tell what you have been thinking about or doing. Oh course do it in brevity, do not bore them with your issues but listen mostly. Pray right then and there. Ask them to pray for you during the week as you will pray for them. Exchange phone numbers and call each other during the week as you pray for one another. Share thoughts and progress.
Plan your day around church. Invite others over to your house after church. Do this right there in church. Do this each Sunday. Plan events for your family and invite others along. Picnics, lunch, golf, or the lake, these are simple ideas to be expanded upon.
Now, how do you approach the service differently and how do you use it well? The old approach is worship and listen. Say amen, and you’re all done for the week. It gets real old, kind of pointless, and not productive. Doesn’t it? It can even seem a burden. But this is a perspective problem. You have no plan or purpose. And strangely as a result, you start to wonder “Why go?” Maybe you have even quit or go infrequently?
During the service engage with God. Give to him in worship. Engage your imagination. Take your experiences and life with you and use the songs to inspire real thanks. Lift your hands, close your eyes, speak praises, sing and expect to be touched. When you take what is going on in your life to worship, it is very real. Sometimes joy, sometimes tears all because you are engaging your heart with God.
During the message, ask God to teach you by his Spirit. Take notes. Write down the things that really relate to you. Not tid-bits of information, but things you need to employ and change.
Review your notes Sunday evening. Take time to make a plan of action for the week. This is to impress upon your spirit what the Lord spoke to you in the service. This is better than forgetting like usual, right?
Church is a participant, not a spectator sport. You are part of a team with a purpose and a plan. You go to the church service to encourage others and worship God. You enact a plan of action for the week.
Prepare before church. Go early and stay late. Engage others. Invite others for Sunday activities. Make a plan of action for the week. Pray for others and invite them to pray for you.
As a result your faith will grow, you will love church more and look forward to it with excitement. The engagement with Christ and with those around you will grow. You will fulfill the command to love your neighbor as yourself. Isn’t that what it is all about?
Here is an summary:
1) Pray before church
2) Show up early
3) Meet people, especial new on or unconnected people
4) Ask for prayer request
5) Plan to talk and prayer for one another during the week
6) Worship in your life in mind
7) Take notes
8) Stay late after church
9) Invite others over
10) Review notes at night and make plan for the week
11) Act out plan, call prayer partner and visit and pray for them
12) Repeat next week
*** Please give feedback in the form of comments.***