Getting Ready to Worship
How do you get ready to worship? When does it start? Do you do something Saturday evening that gets you better prepared for Sunday worship? Are there Sunday morning routines you go through that help you focus and be prepared? Or does it start at the door when you enter the sanctuary? Do you have your own little ritual of preparedness on Sunday? Is there a special place you sit in the sanctuary or a particular person you look for to connect with? Do you read the bulletin (or worship folder) before music begins or let it unfold as you worship?
My preparations as a pastor are a little different because I need to be prepared to deliver a message and lead. But I've noticed over the years my pattern works best if I arise earliest in the family and read the Bible just for me quietly in the living room (with coffee of course!). If the newspaper arrives before I finish breakfast, great. If not, that's OK too. When I get to church (I try to be first in the building, but some staff are now beating me to it!) I make coffee for me and the staff, then make coffee in 80 cup urns for the congregation. I'm sure someone else could do it, but I like to think about all those who will come and have fellowship and refreshment around cups of coffee or tea. Then I unlock doors, thinking about all those who will enter the doors that day. By that time the staff coffee is done and I read through the sermon aloud (hopefully unheard) with further markings added. Then I read something devotional to help me pray for the day and that's when I get my ideas for the first words of greeting to the congregation.
What are Sunday's like when you are unprepared? One of the things we are offering to the congregation is the church and my blog site with a picture of the altar-piece that reinforces the text of the day. What do your churches do to help get you and other worshipers ready? Any new best practices I can steal from you?