While reading my buddy’s blog this morning something just didn’t jive for me about these 3 things every pastor needs to say every weekend . It’s not that I thought what Casey was saying was wrong by any means. It’s always good stuff. But my pastor is just one person in a sea of believers. I can’t expect my pastor to take care of everyone’s need in the building. The blog prompted me to think what I needed to do this weekend.
I’m deeply concerned by this trend I see of people blaming church for their lack of spiritual development. They didn’t connect with the pastor so they’re going to try yet another church next week. They didn’t get the attention, they weren’t invited, they felt like an outsider. Blah, blah, blah whining.
People, it’s one hour a week. If you think one hour a week is going to fulfill all your spiritual and personal needs I lovingly but directly tell you, think again. Coming to church as a consumer only is very dangerous and actually pretty selfish. Weekend worship should be the charging up for what you will do the rest of the week in your prayer, bible study, worship, and acts of service.
I like to keep things simple so here are 3 things I think every church goes needs to do today.
Before you enter into that church building I encourage you to pray. I’m sure it took a monumental miracle to get you and your family dressed, fed, and out the door to church. In the rush don’t forget to center yourself in a posture of humility. Allow prayer to strengthen your resolve to not allow petty, worldly thinking mar your experiences at church. Utilize prayer to soften your heart to the whole experience of music, biblical teaching, encouragement, and edification. Prayer can help you enter the mindset of God and see people the way He sees them.
This is isn’t for someone to notice you as the wall flower standing off to the side waiting to be asked to dance. Flip the coin. Even if you are blessed with introversion, linger and watch the people passing by but view them as unique gifts from God. It will seem small and insignificant but what if for a moment, you stood, caught eye contact with one person, and gave them a warm smile. At the smallest action, acknowledge their presence if they don’t notice yours. You have no idea what that brief encounter of acknowledgement will do for them. If you are blessed as an extrovert, don’t rush off to talk with the friends you already have. Linger for a moment and actively notice the people walking through the church halls who though surrounded by people are lonely. We are all looking for some sort of connection to somebody. Make a beeline through the crowd and touch just one person. See what God does through that one small act of service.
3. Be present
It is just one hour but it’s a hour you need. It can’t possibly fill every need you have but it’s an excellent start. Leave behind the thought that you need to be getting something out this time. Tell yourself you’re an active part of this time to put in. Be open to everything the worship team has prepared for you. Be sensitive to God speaking to you through scripture. Allow the Holy Spirit to renew your heart. Take captive every thought and protect your heart. Be worn out in a good way when you walk out those doors. Realize that your presence this weekend at church is not wrapping up a week, it’s giving you new vigor and motivation and spirit to jump into a new week of your own personal worship, bible study, prayer time, and service.
I encourage every church goes this weekend to consider prayer, lingering, and being fully present in worship. Switch your thinking from consumerism to being consumed by the Holy Spirit.
Let me know if I helped in anyway today.
Hebrews 10:24-25 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.