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Preparing for Gathered Worship

We hate to admit it, but we don’t know what to call ourselves. Are we the worship planning team? Are we the music planning team? Are Mark Hippauf and I "Worship elders?"

We say this, because in common usage, ‘worship’ is the time of the service people sing songs. So, the people who lead the singing are often called the worship team. I am not sure we are going to change that, but we can focus on what we do with our gathering and our lives. The entire morning, from arrival to departure is gathered worship. Worship at it’s core is ascribing supreme worth to God. It always contains an attitude of humble awe and it always results in willing obedience. It always includes showing the love of Christ.

How can you prepare for a truly worshipful gathering with fellow saints? Here are five ways:

1. Give thanks for the family of believers. Give thanks for the grace of Christ in saving you and putting you into his family. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:4, “I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus.” The church in Corinth was filled with immature, sinful, proud Christians. But, THEY WERE CHRISTIANS! That by itself is an amazing sign of God’s grace.

2. Pray for the church. There are manifold needs in every life. Pray for the needy pastor and elder as well as the needy friend or growth group leader. Pray for soft hearts in hearing the word and generous hearts in meeting needs.

3. Arrive early and leave late: Yes, taking care of the little ones can be hard. Yes, you may have something fun to get to after the gathering. Yes getting up early hurts. But, the gathering of the saints is precious time to keep and build deeper relationships. An extra ten minutes on either side may make the difference in encouraging a weary saint or welcoming a visitor.

4. Listen to and sing the songs at home. We always provide song sheets for those interested. Find an arrangement you like online and sing along.

5. Ask God to help you praise and learn. Pray for God to help you focus on the words of songs and apply the truths of the sermon.

The more prepared you are for the gathering, the more impact it will have on the rest of the week. Whatever we are calling ourselves, what we know is that all of life is worship, not just the songs we sing. All of our Sunday gathering is worship start to finish. Our team’s aim is to help you give God whole hearted worship.