The Sunday services don’t come off as well as they do by accident. It takes a lot of preparation.

I spend time each week praying and studying in preparation for the 30 minutes I get to teach God’s word each Sunday. The staff prepares as well practicing music, confirming volunteers, etc. Every Sunday, there are hundreds of volunteers who contribute to make the Sunday services successful: The tech team prepares graphics, the setup team sets up, the Northstar KIDs team prepares exciting and creative lessons, and many additional volunteers are doing all the behind the scenes work that makes our environments possible. Bottom line is this: it takes a lot of time and effort to create meaningful environments every Sunday.

Which brings me to you, if you don’t fall into one of the groups I just mentioned. You need to prepare before you arrive on Sunday.

“Marty, it doesn’t take much preparation or “homework’ to drive my car to church and find an available seat.” True enough. But, let me explain what I mean and the Sunday preparation I would like you to do.

First, throw out all the excuses for not attending church this Sunday. Whether the excuse is I want to sleep in or I have yard work to do, or I need to run a few errands. Decide that spending time with God, spending time in community with other Christians is more important than leisure or housework. Accept the fact that there will always be reasons not to attend but that is where faith comes in. You may well miss something that God has specifically for you that day.

Second pray for the Sunday services. Pray that God would speak to you. Pray that the words sung and heard wouldn’t be just surface level religious activity but rather that our songs and the sermon would have significant impact on our lives. Pray also for the people serving. The Pastor, leaders, worship team, Kids team, and others who are preparing and serving. Pray that God would give them the wisdom and strength to produce and execute a meaningful, authentic worship experience. And pray that lives will be changed through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Third, invite somebody. Your worship experience is better when you invite your friends and co-workers. In addition, their lives may be changed for all eternity. Prepare for worship this Sunday by asking others to join you.

Fourth, anticipate God doing something special. Ask God to speak to you, whether through God’s word, the songs sung by the worship team, or even just an encouraging word by another believer. Expect God to interact with you.

So, prepare your hearts, turn your attention towards God, expect the unexpected and get ready to worship our risen Lord and Savior.

Now you are prepared for Sunday.