top of page
  • Writer's pictureSam J. Brock

The Church Congregant

Part 1 ~ Preparation


 

Prioritize Sunday


“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

Exodus 20:8


Every christian is called to obey this commandment. Whether young or old, new to the faith or finding identity in Christ for over twenty years; the biblical standard is to remember the Sabbath day. This means as Christians we must give Sunday the weight it rightly deserves. Take note that this certainly doesn’t mean only attending a church building at the beginning of every week (although it’s a great baseline). It means prioritizing this day in a number of ways while actively participating in what your local church has to offer.


Apart from the various ways to actually participate on Sunday (which we will dig into), the focus of this article is a reminder of the importance of the Sabbath. It’s too easy to give other aspects of our lives precedence over this day. Our kid’s sporting events, the Green Bay Packers, hunting, sleep, work, you name it. Far too many individuals and families fail to make it to Church on Sunday because they believe in their hearts that something else is more worth their time.


I assume there are plenty of these people in your own life: Loved ones that profess faith yet don’t make room for the Church (I know there are many in mine). This tendency, to spend Sunday outside of the fellowship of other believers, creates a massive void in the heart. This void is in dire need to be filled with worship, community, service, prayer, and intentional time spent with the one who has been so faithful to us. We miss the mark if we are not giving a deliberate effort to attend Church on Sunday.


Will we fail, even when we strive to do so? Of course. But the beginning of our week should consistently be spent in corporate communion with the saints.

 

Show up early (& Stay late)


“Thou shalt arrive fifteen minutes early on Sunday”


Arriving early to Church - A biblical standard? By no means. But it does show a heartfelt intention to build community and grow in fellowship with those that do the same. This doesn’t mean show up early and wait in your warm car before the service starts (which is extremely tempting this time of year). The intent in doing this is to have a conversation with your fellow church members, pastor, elders, or newcomers. You may even find a way to serve your local church during this time, even if it’s on a whim. Maybe you’re watching someone's kid as they attend to an emergency, or have noticed your worship team needs help setting up before the service starts. The extra time spent in your Church won’t go to waste.


The same can be said about sticking around after your Sunday worship service ends. Too many members flock to the exit after their pastor steps away from the pulpit. The last I checked, there wasn’t anyone asking us to leave right when the formal service ends. We should rather aim to spend this time wisely - whether in prayer with the saints, discussion about the sermon, or in general fellowship with other congregants.


I’m not saying it’s a hardline requirement to arrive early or stay at church right when the service concludes. But there’s a reason (which is mentioned in the previous section) why Sunday is so important. At the end of the day, the culture regarding the typical Sunday is in definite need of repair. We can all do our part by setting a new standard... One that doesn’t look like a group of people clocking in at 9 and out at 10:15.


 

Bring a Bible & Notebook


“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

Luke 11:28


Having a Bible on hand is borderline essential for a consistent churchgoer. It aids the individual and those around them for a number of reasons. For starters, it certainly helps prevent distractions during the sermon. When I find myself using the Bible app on my phone versus the real thing, it’s way too easy to start sifting through emails and text messages while the word is being preached. Having a physical Bible on hand also demands that the listener follows along with the pastor’s various references and specific text for a given day. This undoubtedly guides and feeds our knowledge of scripture over time. It also increases our general awareness during the service as we follow along.


The same can be said about utilizing a notebook on Sunday. Note-taking is a phenomenal way to log the wisdom that flows from the pulpit. Sermons tend to be interconnected narratives that tie in with one another through a period of weeks to months (even years for some churches!). Jotting notes allows us to not only reflect on the individual sermon right after it was given but also reference it in relation to the connected narrative well after it was delivered.

 

All in all, our hearts should be prepared to receive the word on Sunday. Our minds will surely wander every which way if we fail to be intentional about it. I found myself thinking about anything but the sermon if I wasn't taking notes and following along in a Bible. (lunch options are an easy favorite to dwell on). If you’re not a notetaker or have never followed along in your Bible, I encourage you to give both a try next time you attend Church. If you happen to do so, pray the word is illuminated as you take a deliberate approach in understanding the truths of God’s will.


One final note regarding the entire article. The topics mentioned here shouldn’t be considered the “magic formula” for ideal church congregant prioritization. Their purpose is rather to guide our hearts in taking an intentional approach with our time spent on Sunday. Not only is this a gut check for those who haven’t placed any importance on this day, but It should bring encouragement if you’ve been consistent in what was mentioned.


To glorify God and Enjoy Him forever,


SJB


139 views

Comments


bottom of page