by Steve Hall
We’ve all been there: pull into the parking lot of the church 30 seconds before Sunday School. Plaster on a smile as you rush to get the kids and yourself to class. Where’s my Bible? Oh yeah, it’s in the car… better go get it. Wow, this shirt sure wrinkles quickly. Did anyone remember to turn of the iron at home? Camp registrations have to be turned in this morning? Totally forgot about that… guess I better fill them in now… Time to go to the choir room already. Where is my folder? I know I left it right here after choir practice last week. Oh, that’s right, I took it home to look over this week, ha, ha! I forgot to bring it back… I guess I’ll ask Joe if I can share his music. But I can never see the music when he holds it at that angle! Oh, we’re starting. Okay, here we go… 1,2 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee…”
Sound familiar?! It can be difficult to worship and minister to others when it seems you are caught in a tornado! Is it just the inevitable Sunday morning routine, or can the chaos be avoided? Is it possible to arrive at church with a joyful heart, a genuine smile, ready to worship the Lord, and ready to be an encouragement to fellow brothers and sisters in Christ? It is often easy to forget that as we go to meet with the church, we should not only have our hearts prepared to worship the Lord together, but we are gathering with fellow believers with the intention to not only be ministered to, but to minister. This is a big goal for each Sunday. It is important that we work ahead in order to set ourselves up for the Lord to use us.
Here are a few practical tips that may help you be better prepared on Sunday:
Prepare on Saturday
If you never seem to have time to prepare on Saturday, then consider cutting down your activities on Saturday night. Listen to some godly music as you set clothes out, find pairs of shoes, or do some meal preparations. Prepare your heart for the Lord’s day just before you go to sleep on Saturday night. Instead of choosing an activity or entertainment that will keep the family up late, work to quiet your heart as you prayerfully consider the ministry He has for you the following morning.
Arrive at Church Early
Sunday morning may not be the best time to try to get some extra sleep! Save that for Sunday afternoon. When you arrive early you will have time to get your family settled, and take care of any last minute preparations.
Meditate Throughout the Week
If you are involved in the music or choir ministry, meditate on the choir special for that Sunday throughout the week. Post the words somewhere you will be often, or keep them on a notecard, or on your phone. If you are a Sunday School teacher, it might help to make the weekly lesson a part of your daily devotional time with God. Your heart will be more focused on the ministry God has given you when you have taken the time to internalize the message.
Be Right With the Lord
All the physical preparations in the world will not prepare you to minister if you are not prepared spiritually. Let your ministry on Sunday be an overflow of your walk with the Lord through the week!