As I continue adding some thoughts on preparing for the Sunday gatherings – I would like to bring some practical ideas for those who serve every Sunday, using their gifts for preaching, caring, praying, music and hospitality.
- START EARLY – Pray/listen/study/practice through the week – take time to let God speak to you and inspire you – be as well prepared as you can be. It honors God and blesses people. Often I like to start the preparation of my messages early in the week so God can deepen the Word, its meaning, emphasis and focus as well as preparing my attitude for delivering it.
- YOU FIRST – You are a vessel in which God pours out His gifts – don’t ever forget that your own personal devotion and holiness is the most important gift to the people you serve. Let God’s encouraging/convicting words or songs impact you first. That way you will overflow with authenticity and passion. God’s message will own you.
- TOGETHER – Take time to pray together as teams on Sunday before the services. Not as a ritual that is meaningless but as a thoughtful act of a team desperate to see God touch people’s lives. That demonstrates a healthy level of dependency and unity. I would be the best reminder that it isn’t your show or your stage.
- TAKE A BREAK – if you sense that you are just going through the motions, not honoring God and caring for people, step off and re-evaluate. Who are you doing it for? Why are you doing it? Otherwise you probably will do more harm than good. Learn to appreciate the privilege of serving and keep that appreciation fresh!
- KEEP THE FOXES OUT – Solomon was right. Small issues can cause great damage. Watch out for annoying bad habits, unforgivenes, ego trips, lateness, bad communication, forgetfulness, insensitivity towards the techies, rudeness and ungratefulness. These problems can cause more damage than any theological heresy. Deal with them wisely, honestly and graciously – otherwise the price will be high.