Last week, I started a 3 part series on how to get the most out of our Sunday gatherings. Our time of corporate worship is the high point of our week. So how can we receive all God has for us on the Lord’s Day? Part 1 of this series was about preparing ourselves for Sunday worship. Here in part 2, let’s consider how we can experience worship through serving in Sunday worship.

We will miss out on what God has for us in Sunday worship if we treat it like a spectator sport and show up with a consumer mindset of sitting back and being passive. God says to be part of his church is to be part of his body and that each part of His body has a role to play (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). So, as we gather, we are not to have an “I’m here for me” mindset, but rather a “I’m here to worship God with his body, and so I’m here for others” mindset.

So here are a few ways that you can worship God through having an “others-oriented” mindset.

Serve by greeting others.

 Various Scriptures talk about greeting one another with a holy kiss (Romans 16:16, 1 Corinthians 16:20, 2 Corinthians 13:12, 1 Thessalonians 5:26). This doesn’t mean that we should walk around locking lips with one another on Sundays. Kissing was a cultural expression for greeting one another warmly, similar to our cultural expression of greeting with a handshake or side hug. The principle we are to apply is that as we come together, we are not coming for an individual time of worship. We are coming to be together with others. And so we should acknowledge others and be warm and friendly. Romans 15:7 commands us to “welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” Christ did not wait for us to show the initiative, but he welcomed us by showing the initiative. He did not only welcome those close to him but had an eye and heart for those far from him. And so, one of the ways that we can serve the church is by greeting one another, particularly people we don’t know. Introduce yourself, ask them their name, where they are from. Worship God by taking an interest in others.

 Serve by praying for others.

The Christian community should be an honest community. As we greet one another and talk about how our week has been going, we should be honest about our struggles and burdens. This honesty doesn’t always come naturally to us. Sometimes, it takes a follow-up question, “How are you really doing?” to get an accurate response. When people open their hearts to us, God is giving us an opportunity to minister his love by praying for them. We always have a prayer team upfront that is available to pray for anyone, but we all should view ourselves as part of the prayer team. Don’t just tell someone that you will keep them in prayer. Pray for them right then and there. Every Sunday that we gather, there are hurts that God wants to heal. Are you willing to serve Him by being used to pray for others to know the balm of his love?

Serve by inviting others.

Lifeway Research recently did a study that found that Eighty-two percent of the unchurched are at least somewhat likely to attend church if invited. Only two percent of church members invite an unchurched person to church. Ninety-eight percent of church-goers never extend an invitation in a given year. When was the last time you invited someone? When was the last time you followed up on a previous invite? Part of how we can have another mindset is not just coming for ourselves but always thinking, “Who does God want me to invite this Sunday?” We have life-changing news; let’s share it by inviting others to hear about it and experience it at Sunday worship.

Serve by being on a ministry team.

When my family sits down for dinner, it is a team effort. Some kids get the plates, others the water, others the utensils and napkins, and either Angie and I or a combination make the food. To be clear, it is mostly Angie because she is the family’s best cook. But it takes all of us coming together to be able to sit down and enjoy dinner. Similarly, it takes all kinds of effort for us to sit down and engage in the spiritual meal of Sunday worship together. It would be pretty awkward (and selfish) for one of my family members to sit at the table and wait to have dinner served. In the same way, it is pretty awkward (and selfish) to just come in on Sunday and sit down and expect to be served. It takes several ministry teams to pull off our Sunday Worship service, and there is an opportunity for everyone. Parents, this is a great way to get your kids involved. Sign up for a ministry team, have them serve alongside you, and disciple them with an others-oriented heart. 

As we start two worship services on September 17th at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., this is a great opportunity for all of us to prayerfully consider how God is calling us to grow in worshiping him by serving others. May we live in the good of our Lord and Savior’s words when he told us, 

“Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:44-45