May 12, 2019 | Rev. Gina Anderson-Cloud
This week's focus in our series "How Do I Please God" is preparation. How do you prepare for worship or do you?
We prepare for other meaningful practices. We train for the upcoming race. We shop for supplies for a trip. We study for exams. We attempt to rest when we know we are going to be busy. We do these things because we know that better preparation brings better results. Therefore, if worship is important for us and pleasing to God, shouldn’t we prepare for it?
Consider what might help you to be in a prepared place to experience God. Make a list of things that you feel hinder you when you seek to worship. Take the list and discern how to adequately prepare so that the hindrances are minimized. Come up with a plan so that you are ready to encounter God when you worship. Try it out. Tweak it, and learn from successes, all while giving honor and thanksgiving to our amazing God.
Recently, a church researcher surveyed churchgoing Christians with this question: “Have you ever experienced God in a worship service?” In the findings, only one-third responded that they regularly experience God in church. William Hendrix in his work entitled Exit Interviews delves into why there seems to be a generation leaving church over the last few decades. Part of what he suggests is that worship is not meaningful to a lot of church-goers. He also suggests, as do others, that some of the problem is not in what our church staff, volunteers and/or pastors offer during worship, but that the problem of feeling like God experiences are rare is more about our individual way of approaching God through the ancient traditions of worship, as well as within the new iterations of worship we find in church today. The problem is not so much “the church,” but us. Is God pleased with how you approach worship?
Rick Ezell writes: “We desperately need a life-changing glimpse of the greatness, the awesomeness, the wonder, the power, the mercy, the goodness and loving kindness of God.” This new series for May hopes to ask questions of us and give resources that help us please God as we encounter the Holy in our worshipping life.
Our current series offers us an opportunity to look at what God might find pleasing in a worshipful life in and through the church. To do this, we will focus on 4 P’s – Presence, Preparation, Power and Protocol.