PREPARING TO WORSHIP WITH THE CHURCH
Assuming that most of us still worship with fellow Jesus-followers on Sunday, what do you do to prepare for Sunday? Change your alarm clock from 6:30am to 9:50am so that you can be ready to slip into the service by 10:15am? Do you give any thought the night before as to what you might experience when you worship God with your local church?
In a recent sermon, I challenged my friends to think through how they could come ready to hear from God and ready to encourage one another. To help them, I gave everyone a copy of a something that Pastor John Piper prepared for his home church, Bethelhem Baptist Church. It’s called Take Heed How You Hear. And even though it directly addresses the question “How can I prepare myself to hear the Word of God preached?” it can be applied to the larger question “How can I prepare myself for the whole experience of gathered worship?”
Here’s an excerpt:
3.Purify your mind by turning away from worldly entertainment.
James 12:1, “Putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.” It astonishes me how many Christians watch the same banal, empty, silly, trivial, titillating, suggestive, immodest TV shows that most unbelievers watch. This makes us small and weak and worldly and inauthentic in worship. Instead, turn off the television on Saturday night and read something true and great and beautiful and pure and honorable and excellent and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8). Your heart will unshrivel and be able to feel greatness again.
9. Think earnestly about what is sung and prayed and preached.
1 Corinthians 14:20, “Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature”. So Paul says to Timothy, “Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything” (2 Timothy 2:7). Anything worth hearing is worth thinking about. If you would take heed how you hear, think about what you hear.
SO let’s here it: what do you do to get ready for Sunday?