Why should you prepare to worship together? Perhaps the first question we should ask is “why should we worship together?” There are 168 hours in your week. Technically speaking, you can (and should) worship God during every single one of those. In Romans 12:1, Paul says:
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
That should be our ultimate aim. To glorify God and worship him in everything that we do.
If that’s the case, then what’s unique about gathering with the church to worship? If you can worship God in the mountains, then why should you come down out of the mountains to gather with the body on Sunday?
Because it’s the only time in the week when we all get to worship together.
That is huge. The Christian life is a communal thing. It’s not a solo thing. In fact, the writer of Ecclesiastes says in chapter 4, verses 9-10:
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!
So back to my original question: Why should you prepare to worship together? It has been said that we should not come to the church in order to worship. Instead, we should come to the gathering of the church already worshipping. And if it is a wonderful thing that we get to gather together to do it, then why would you not come prepared and ready to worship?
What does that look like? A few ideas:
- Spend some time praying and thanking God for the opportunity to gather with the church when you first wake up Sunday morning. That means you’ll have to wake up in plenty of time to do that!
- Go to bed at a reasonable hour. It’s more difficult to be alert and engaged in worshipping together if you’re tired. It’s more difficult to see God’s glory and goodness in the songs that we sing and the scripture that we study if you’re just trying to keep your eyelids open. It’s more difficult to love one another (a command, by the way) if you are drifting off in thought mid-sentence when talking to someone from the church.
- Come early, stay late. Engage the the whole experience. Fellowship richly before the service. Get yourself into the sanctuary for the whole service to experience all that God is doing in our gathering. Fellowship richly after the service. If you only get to do this once a week, make it count.
- Be all in. When you’re with the church, savor every moment. Eagerly anticipate how your understanding of God will be deepened as we study the word. Expect that God is going to be working powerfully among us. Mean the words that you sing. Truly believe the gospel when it is proclaimed.
- Learn the songs before you come. That’s why we write this weekly blog post – so that you’re not learning the songs on Sunday morning. Instead, learn them in advance so that you can worship with your whole heart, mind and body.
Here are handy links to serve you in that aim:
Do you agree with David when he said in Psalm 122, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the LORD!'”? Let that be our aim this week!