When I am visiting a strange church, I often find myself asking what church will be like. What kind of music, how’s the preacher, are the people warm, welcoming, and friendly?
While all of those questions are important to us, they are not the question that really matters.
The question that matters is this: Am I ready to meet with God and worship Him in Spirit and in truth?
You may be on your way to church right now or maybe you’ve already been to worship. Either way, as we go through life, the most important question for church is about us. Am I ready?
Because of what God called me to do, I often think of what we (the church and its leadership) can do to make church better and more meaningful. It’s only right for me and other pastors to think in that way.
But above all else, church is about you and your readiness to meet God.
How do you get ready for a meaningful church experience?
I have three simple and biblical suggestions.
First, go with God in mind. Put God first above all else. Don’t focus on parking, friendliness, or anything else around you. Look for God in your worship and in the people around you.
God’s Word contains many passages which encourage us to seek Him. “Come near to God and He will come near to you” (James 4:8). “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 29:13-14).
Second, focus on others. Look for someone carrying a heavy burden. Even if you are the stranger to this congregation, encourage the people around you to worship God and depend on Him.
If you go to church focused on yourself, you will have a self worship experience. If you go to church focused on God and what He does in people’s lives, you will have a God worship experience.
Third, pray to meet with God. Spend time getting ready to worship. Ask God to meet with you there. Ask Him to show you the people who need an encouraging word or friendly smile.
Do these things and church will be a wonderful, God-filled experience.
May God bless your worship wherever you are.
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