Green Pastures, Quiet Waters

Are You Prepared?

How did you feel when you left your church last Sunday? Had you been spiritually fed? Were you uplifted because you truly worshipped God? Were you energized and joyful? Or did you leave church with a let-down feeling – like something important was missing? Did you ever have a morning when the music was “off” and you got little out of the sermon? I think that no matter what church we attend, that has happened to all of us at some time. We leave church disgruntled and maybe even feeling like we don’t want to go back again. “What’s the point?” you say, “It was time wasted.”

Let me share a couple of thoughts with you. First, I have discovered that when it happens to me, it is usually my fault. Yep, I admit it – my fault! I did say “usually” because there are days when the music really is “off” and the message may not be what I needed to hear that day, but I believe those days are not the norm in most churches.

Let’s ask ourselves a couple of questions that can help us to understand why that Sunday service let-down sometimes happens.

What were the expectations going in? Do we expect an A+ every Sunday from those who are leading our services? We know that pastors and worship leaders are human beings with their own issues to overcome. They deal with tiredness, illness, family stresses, overwork, too much to accomplish in the time given, and countless other factors that may cause them to not be able to give all you would want from them every Sunday. Somehow we expect those who minister to us in church to be super saints, not regular people serving the Lord the best they can with His enabling. In their humanity, they may not always hit a home run in the areas that best minister to each person’s specific needs.

I have to admit that this second point is a big one for many of us. We do not always have a heart of thankfulness that we have the freedom to go to church to worship God and fellowship with other believers. I believe we would be less critical if we had an attitude of gratitude, especially when we consider how many in the world would be so grateful to have the same privilege.

And finally, I find that I struggle more when I have not properly prepared my heart and mind before going to worship the Lord. Do I spend time beforehand praying that God would give me an attitude of grace to those who lead and teach and that I would have open eyes and ears to see and hear what God has for me? Have I prayed regularly during the week for those who lead us on Sunday mornings? Have I asked God to help me to set aside those distractions that work so hard against us when we enter God’s house? When I remember to do those things, it shapes my attitudes and helps me to get the most from a Sunday morning service. I must admit that I have not always done what I should in these areas.

I firmly believe that what we do before church makes a huge difference to what happens to us when we are in church. Prepare well, worship well. 

 “ I rejoiced with those who said to me, "Let us go to the house of the LORD."  Psalm 122:1

 

B. Klassen      bea.k@bell.net