Worshipping God is a vital part of our service to God. That’s why so much emphasis is given to it in both Testa- ments and from the beginning of man’s existence. Of course, worship can be in private as an individual (Matt. 6:6), with the family or a small group (Acts 16:13), as well as when the church comes together (I Corinthians 11:17ff). This article will focus on the public assembly. Have you ever said, or heard someone say, “I just don’t get much out of the worship service?” Sometimes this is more of a commentary on the person than on the service, or on those who are leading it. Consider a few things that may help you improve the quality of your worship when you gather with the saints.
Make your worship of God a priority. It is nothing less than a meeting with Him and His Son. Be there and be ready to worship at the appointed time. Don’t bring God leftovers. He has always demanded the “first fruits.” He will not be satisfied with the scraps of our time, interest and attention. Get plenty of sleep on Saturday night so you can come to worship with an alert and refreshed mind. Do not expect to be entertained. Our purpose is to worship, and to teach and admonish one another. Come to the service with the positive attitude that it is a privilege and that you will worship in spirit and in truth. Be on time! Rushing in late makes it difficult to settle into meditation, and it disturbs other worshippers. Get up a little earlier and leave home a little earlier. We do this with important appoint- ments. (Being in Bible class will help you be on time for worship, and you will grow that much more.) Bring your Bible and use it when references are given in sermon points. Just like the song book, it is a vital tool in fruitful wor- ship and study.
Open your mouth and sing. Concentrate on the words you are singing. (Col.3:16) Singing is a command just as much as assembling in the first place. Sit closer to the front if you are easily distracted by the actions of oth- ers. Research has shown that the level of emotion and mental participation increases as one moves closer to those leading or speaking. Listen carefully to the sermon. Follow along in your Bible. Taking notes may help. Seek personal strength from it. It will encourage the speaker, and visitors will know that you are serious about growing in knowledge. Resolve that you are going to worship, no matter what others do. We do not condone noise and dis- tractions in worship, but let us be determined that it will not keep us from worshipping. Go to the restroom and wa- ter fountain before the worship begins, and if you have small children, take them with you. Train them to sit for the hour without having to go in and out. Make your worship God-centered, not man-centered. Regardless of who is speaking, or leading, God is the center of your thoughts.
Anything worthwhile should involve preparation, discipline and determination. What could be more worthwhile than worshipping God? Being present in body does not guarantee that worship will take place. Jesus applied the words of Isaiah as He said of some, “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.” (Matt. 15:8) What would He say of us?
(We are having an excellent study on the subject of worship every Sunday morning at 10:30. Alfred Barnes is spending a lot of time in preparation for the lessons, making outlines for our future use, and is doing a commend- able job in teaching the class. All our adult members should be in this class. This in-depth study will help us under- stand this important subject better, as well as make our own personal worship more meaningful Richard and acceptable to God.)