The last few weeks on Sunday mornings, we’ve been talking about some of the real practical elements of our faith and some practices we can use to deepen our spiritual lives. We’ve talked about how to read Scripture, how to pray, and last week we talked some about worship. We didn’t get to all of the practical suggestions we had, so I’d like to share them with you here.

Take these for what they are — suggestions to help us engage our corporate worship gathering.  They’re not hard and fast rules we have to follow, but suggestions to work into our lives in a way that makes sense to you. We all know what it’s like to come together for worship and be distracted, tired, or anxious. This isn’t about “getting more out of worship” but about putting ourselves in a place where we can engage God and one another.

Remember What Worship is About. Worship is about two things: it’s about proclaiming the praises of the God who has saved us, redeemed us, given us new life in Christ, who is reconciling the world to himself and is uniting us with him (see Ephesians 1.3-14). And worship is about encouraging, teaching, admonishing, submitting to, and loving others (Ephesians 5.18-21).

Come Expecting Something to Happen. Don’t just come to go through the motions, but come expecting to hear a word from God for your life. Come expecting to catch a glimpse of the glory of God as we worship. Come expecting to encourage others and to spur others toward love.

Get Rest. As much as we can control (which is not always as much as we’d like!), try to get rest. We all know how much harder it is to lift our affections upward to God and outward to others when we haven’t gotten enough sleep. This is about prioritizing our time.

Relax. It’s ok if your kids are a little rambunctious, or if you aren’t completely put together. God   doesn’t expect us to get our life together before coming to him. He knows us, in all our chaos, and he desires we come to him as we are. We don’t need to wear masks to worship together. This one is big for me personally.

Engage. Participate. Sing (even if you aren’t the greatest…I’m not!). Meditate. Read. Pray.

Invite. Bring friends and family along to join in the experience. You’ll feel more invested.

Be Consistent. As much as you can control, gather with the church as often as you can. The gathering of the church is not just a gas station to get us by for a few weeks. God has designed it to be a weekly rhythm for us to keep us centered on him and others, and consistency matters.

Fellowship. If worship is about encouraging one another, make a point to interact with others—especially folks you maybe don’t know as well. Don’t wait for someone to say hi to you. It’s amazing what can happen when we truly invest in one another and our time together.

Prepare. Perhaps the best way to make the most of our time gathered together is to lead a lifestyle of worship when we aren’t together. When we intentionally allow all the good things God has given us to lead us to worship in the mundane moments of life, our corporate time will be much more of a blessing to everyone.

– Brad


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