For many people, Sunday worship services are a normal part of life. We are uplifted and inspired as we gather with people in our community to remind ourselves and each other of lasting truths and the strength that comes to our lives when we live according to those principles.
However, because these worship services are so normal, sometimes we don't receive as much empowering joy from our meetings as we would like. If this describes how you feel about regular worship, this article is for you. Even if Sunday worship is not weekly for you, these tips can help you make your time at church more meaningful and enriching. Read on to discover seven practical steps to tune up the way you tune in to God.
1. Figure out what you need and want
Each one of us has unique situations in life that we wish were a little better. Before you attend a worship service, think of what those situations might be. Does your daughter think you're the meanest mom ever? Do you wish you could be more helpful to your husband? Are you feeling overwhelmed at work? No matter what your concern is, it is relevant and important to God. Keep your specific question in mind as you prepare for and attend worship services.
2. Pray to understand what you are taught and to know how to apply it to your life
Praying in this way opens up communication between you and God. In essence, you're saying, "God, I want to learn. I also want to act on what I learn. Will you show me what I need to do?" This acknowledgement is a signal of humility, something that is essential to receiving hope and help from deity.
3. Sacrifice other activities so you can focus and prepare for the God-given guidance you have requested. If it's your habit to watch television for a few hours before you go to church, consider changing your routine. Activities that lead our minds and hearts away from the things of God serve as a distraction if we are truly trying to learn and change.
4. Gather your family to participate
While small children can certainly be distracting during a worship service, including all of your family members actually makes it easier to live what you learn at home. This is because everyone is hearing the same message and, based on your good example, each member of your family will be more inclined to hear God's message for him or her individually. It's possible that later that wiggly, noisy son of yours will bring up something powerful he learned at church. Moments like that bolster unity in the home as well as providing teaching tools for the whole family.
5. Take notes on what you hear and feel during worship services
You may be tempted to outline the speaker's sermon word-for-word, but notes on what you personally understand from the discourse will prove more valuable in the end. If you feel troubled by something you know is valuable and good, jot down a note to make a change in your life that reflects the goodness. If something helps you to feel cheerful and motivated, write down that message. It's a gift of love from God, and worth remembering.
6. When you go home, be ready to live what you have learned
No matter how potent your notes, how sincere your prayers, or how involved your family was in services, your life will not change for the better unless you get to work and put God's personal message to good use. Otherwise, the effort you have put in so far won't get you the maximum positive results.
7. Review the message later and study it more in-depth
By putting what we learn in worship services to good use, we clear a space in our lives and hearts to let in even more goodness. That's why it's important to review the message again later. God may have given you a direction, but for all you know it's just step one on a wonderful journey. These journeys help to build your character and your capacity for joy.
With these few simple things, you can get the most out of your worship services. You can communicate with God in a way that shapes you and your life into something better and brighter than you can imagine. You will receive warnings and protection in times of physical and spiritual danger. Your faith will grow, as will your ability to be strong in hard times and to share that strength with others. In short, you and your family can always have exactly what each of you need most.