Furthermore, faithful church attendance is a mandatory practice for true discipleship. Believers who are serious about their calling will make corporate worship in God’s House a priority.
With that understood, how can we get the most out of church? How can we make the discipline of regular church attendance pay off? The answer is by remembering and participating in the four main components of a church service as presented in Acts 2:42-47.
Born in the fires of Pentecost, the church in Jerusalem was a worshiping church. The exaltation of God through praising, singing, and giving thanks is a main function of the church (Ephesians 5:19-20). Furthermore, God has promised to inhabit the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). When the church comes together in worship, God’s presence in revealed in a special way.
Corporate worship is not a spectator activity. Think of it as an all-team activity. To come to church and fail to worship is to miss out on the spiritual opportunities made available. To get the most out of church, come ready to worship!
The Book of Acts presents the church in Jerusalem as a praying church. No matter what they were faced with, prayer was their automatic default mechanism. There was a well worn path from the Jerusalem church to the throne of grace.
I am concerned that many Christians today simply do not pray. I am equally concerned that many churches have forsaken the practice as well. Just as no one can worship for you, no one can do your praying for you. They can pray for you, but others cannot take your place before the throne of God. To get the most out of church, pray beforehand for God to move in the service and in your own heart. Then in the service pray when it’s time to pray, and hit the altars every chance you get.
3. THE WORD
The Word of God was powerfully preached and taught in the Jerusalem church. Imagine having the apostles as your Sunday School teachers. Imagine having Peter, James, or John in the pulpit delivering the message. In a day and age when many churches have discarded the Bible as obsolete, the Jerusalem church received a steady diet of scripture and experienced phenomenal growth as a result.
To get the most out of church, bring your Bible. Take advantage of the outlines provided in the bulletin and take notes. Save your notes for further study. Go back and reread the text and do further study like the Bereans of Acts 17:11. To get the most out of church, open your heart and come ready to receive from God’s Word.
Really? Absolutely! But worship, prayer, and the Word are all so spiritual. Yes, and so is Christian fellowship. Not only is it spiritual, it’s vital in our Christian walk. Living in a hostile environment, the church in Jerusalem became a close-knit body of believers that served the Lord in the context of strong relationships.
I am always saddened when I see people slip into a service late, and then slip out early so as to avoid the “crowd.” They miss out on a major part of church life. The body of Christ is God’s gift to each one of us. At the risk of sound trite, we need each other. God knows we need each other and He has provided for that need through the church. To get the most out of church, start investing in relationships. Come a little early. Stay a little late. Or invite someone out to share a meal for the sake of fellowship.
I encourage you to renew your commitment to faithful church attendance. Ask yourself, “Am I as faithful to God’s house as I am to my office, or my classroom, or my fitness center, or my favorite coffee shop?” God deserves our very best, so let’s give it. Come to church regularly, and come ready to get the most out of the service.
Pastor Todd Weston