Sunday mornings are such a chaotic time in any home. Most of the time Saturday night consists of something that has us up later than usual. Unfortunately, as adults we slowly lose the ability to sleep any later than we do any other day of the week. Then when children enter your life you have all new challenges. Often times you are tired and your children are tired and the last thing they want to do is put on the clothes you want them to wear that morning.
My poor wife has to fight those battles alone every Sunday morning. However, when I arrive back at the house mid-afternoon on Sundays I observe the aftermath. It looks like the rapture happened while a school house full of children were waiting in my living room.
Needless to say, we often arrive at church on Sunday morning and try as hard as we can to put our happy faces on when, at that moment, we are so far from happy people. We have possibly just threatened the lives of everyone in our family before coming to sing about Jesus. Well, it just makes sense that we struggle to engage in worship in an authentic and active manner given the surrounding circumstances.
What if we began to think of our Sunday morning worship experience a bit differently? What if we prepared our hearts for the great blessing of responding to God amidst the body of people we call church? For those of you who have children… What if we began to intentionally prepare our children’s hearts for worship on Sunday mornings?
I’d like to offer a few practical suggestions and then I would love to hear your ideas as well. First, add the Sunday morning worship opportunity to your daily prayer routine. After all, it is a crucial time for both the hearts of those who are following Jesus as well as those who arrive and do not have a relationship with Him. Second, find ways to incorporate it into the prayer time you have with your children. You can pray with them for the worship leaders, pastors, teachers, volunteers, friends, and new friends that God will bring. Third, be aware of your Saturday night and Sunday morning routine.
Our schedules demonstrate the value we place on the corporate worship gathering. Maybe there are times when a Saturday night activity needs to be slightly altered so that the family is appropriately prepared for worship on Sunday morning. Last, I find that people rarely spend personal time with Jesus on Sunday mornings. It seems as though there is a ‘day off’ mentality because they are going to church and the preacher is going to feed them. I would submit to you that if you spent time in the scripture and in prayer on Sunday morning it would dramatically impact your worship experience.
The joy of worship can be so easily scathed by the pressing chaos of life. Yet, amidst that chaos we unfortunately neglect the Healer who has established his church to be a foundational place of gospel transformation in our lives.
These are just a few suggestions… do you have ways that help you prepare for worship on Sunday mornings? Or maybe your home is nothing like what I have described here and it isn’t a struggle at all for you… if so, then we definitely want to hear from you too (but we might call your bluff).