By Adam Faughn
For nearly anyone, worship can become a bit rote at times. Although we know it is invaluable, we are human; thus, we struggle at times to stay truly engaged and thoughtful throughout the time.
But some seem to think that it would take some major thing to get out of the rut or to make worship more meaningful. Tragically, some stop coming. Just as tragically, some think they must change God’s pattern (or worship where that pattern is not obeyed) and have bands, light shows, and more just to “up” the experience.
But there are far simpler steps that each person can make to improve worship for themselves, while still making certain they worship “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). Today, I share four that you can make this Sunday.
1. Prepare Beforehand. I know Sunday mornings are busy. It is remarkable we have any sanity by the time we make it to worship. But could we not take even 5 or 10 minutes on Saturday night to sing a song and pray so that our mind is headed in the right direction? What about laying out clothes so that the Sunday morning rush is less crazy? On Sunday morning, on the way to the building, listen to some worship music or talk about what you are excited about concerning the opportunity you are getting ready to take part in! Just this one step, I promise, will revolutionize worship.
2. Arrive on time (or a little early is even better). If you are constantly late, you are not even “settled in” before worship is partially over. When that happens, you spend the rest of the time playing catch-up in your mind. But if you are present on time, or a little early, and have visited with a few fellow Christians and had a chance to “settle” a bit, your mind is fresh and ready to worship from the first moment.
3. Sit closer to the front. I have sat in the back before. I have sat in a balcony before. Let me just put it this way: it is a whole different world! It’s not a sin to sit in the back; after all, by definition, someone will be “in the back.” That said, if you are trying to get out of a rut, or are just struggling to stay engaged in worship, you will be completely amazed how much easier it is to stay focused if you just move up a few rows. There are fewer distractions (because there are fewer people between you and the leaders) and just the change of scenery is sometimes enough to trigger your mind to be more focused.
4. Remember that God is the Audience. In the end, your goal is to give your best for Him; not just to see what you can get out of the worship time. If your mind is truly focused on that singular fact, your worship will improve, since you will be constantly striving to please Him with every action and every thought.
None of those things changes God’s pattern for worship. Further, none of them requires a major overhaul on your part. Still, these four steps will change your worship for the better. Why not try them, even this Sunday, and just see if worship is not more encouraging for you than it has been in a long, long time.
“…worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness” (Psalm 29:2b)
- Adam Faughn preaches for the Central Church of Christ in Paducah KY. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.centralchurchofchrist.org