Been thinking about all the preparations that have been made and are currently being made as churches open their doors to meet again.
Our first Sunday to be “shut-down” was March 22. (The Church was never closed; only the building was empty.) We have been using Zoom for Sunday morning, prayer meetings, and small group meetings. This past Sunday, just the leadership met in the auditorium while the service was Zoomed to everyone else. The purpose for our in-house meeting was to get a first-hand view of the guidelines we need in to have in place for opening our doors this Sunday.
On my way to church, I said to my wife, “Churches are making a lot of plans and preparations for next Sunday to protect folks from the virus. I wonder, how much planning and preparation goes on personally in the heart of man to be protected from the old sin nature so that our worship will be in spirit and in truth (John 4:24)?”
May I offer some suggested guidelines, not in a legalistic fashion, but simply to honor God and help us be ready to gather in His presence?
- Have the whole family pray together on Saturday night in heart preparation for gathering on Sunday.
- Have clothes and breakfast already planned out and prepared on Saturday night to lessen the stress of Sunday morning.
- Get to bed at a decent hour so you are not so tired on Sunday morning.
- Be prepared for opposition from the flesh and the devil on Sunday morning. Don’t be surprised. You are in a battle.
- Have a season of prayer as a family and listen to worship music on the way to church.
- Before you exit your vehicle in the church parking lot, pray and ask the Lord what pew you should sit in so you will be near the person God wants you to minister to that morning (even six-feet apart).
- Maybe take a different route to church to add some freshness to the journey.
- The trip to and from church should be a blessed, happy time of joy and singing and sharing because you are born again, and you were made to praise the Lord!
We have guidelines to protect from the virus. May we with a right heart follow some “guidelines” to protect us from ourselves. After all, this Sunday’s worship is not about us but about loving God and loving our neighbor (Matthew 22:37-39)!
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD!” (Psalm 122:1)
Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise! Selah (Psalm 84:4)
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:16-17)
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25)