Based in St. Cloud, Minnesota, Growing in Grace is a blog by Pastor Matthew Molesky. His posts explore the Bible, theology, ecclesiology, culture, books, family, and life.

Preparing for Gathered, Sunday Worship

You have probably, at one point in your church-going life, said of a Sunday morning service - the next day, or that afternoon, or maybe even as you walked to your car in the parking lot - "Well, I sure didn't get much of anything out of that." Whose fault do you think that was?

I understand there are churches with bad preaching. And churches with sub-par times of worship through music. But there are also a tremendous amount of churches with faithful preachers and worship leaders, who don't happen to be Piper, Giglio, or Driscoll; or Crowder, Redman, or Tomlin, who are faithfully serving their congregations. Yet the statement above is a common refrain.

Might the problem really be that too many of us show up for Sunday morning without having properly prepared our bodies (with good sleep), our hearts, and our minds for what we are about to do together? Eagerly expectant for what God will say and reveal to us?

Friends, the gathered, corporate worship that occurs on Sunday morning is the most important event you will attend each week. It demands your attention and preparation.

Ryan Huguley recently provided seven wonderful ways to prepare for Sunday morning worship:

1. Wake up early to pray and spend time in God’s Word, rather than having to rush around so you’re not late.

2. Spend some time confessing any sin you know exists in your heart and life.

3. Resolve any relational issues and conflicts so far as you are able.

4. Read through the sermon text prior to arriving at church (we supply the text with discussion questions prior to the sermon at Calvary each week).

5. Listen to worship music on your way and begin lifting the eyes of your heart to the ONE we gather to worship.

6. Arrive early and ask the Holy Spirit to begin preparing your heart to hear what He’d have you to hear.

7. Spend time recounting specific evidences of God’s grace in your life this week.

I want you to go to church this week, absolutely stoked at the opportunity you have to hear from the God who made you, formed you, and created you in his image. The God who has a life-transforming Word for you. The God who will send his Spirit to you to open your eyes and your heart and your mind to all the wonderful things from the Bible.

So don't take these seven things as a punch to the throat or slap across the hands. Take them as some ways that I believe can truly help you maximize what God has for you this coming Sunday. And hey, just because I'm a pastor who will preach this Sunday, doesn't mean I don't need this list just as much as you!

In Tenderness (1894), Sung In 2012 By A Bearded Gospel Man