When Sunday morning rolls around, there's nothing more frustrating than heading to a place where you don't feel you add any value or get any value out of it. We can feel a yearning in our hearts to be at church, but we have a hard time wanting to be there.
That's exactly how I use to feel about church and the Sunday morning services. I'd have to pull myself out of bed and try to make it to church on time. Once there, I'd think about why I was even there. I would sit there like a large rock, not moving, not listening and not learning. Based off this method, I would never get anything out of one of the most important learning times of my week.
Thankfully, with the help of renewed faith, good friends and an awesome wife, I have turned off my rock like behavior and started to enjoy the Sunday morning services. In fact, it has become one of my biggest times of growing in my faith each week.
The Dangers of Distance
Growing up I attended church all the time. In fact, in my teen years, I even attended a Christian School. I had so many opportunities to learn and grow in my faith, but I always thought I knew better. I was always selfish to the idea of needing Jesus and therefore never paid attention to His life or His teachings.
Those years of disobedience cost me dearly when those many teachings could have been most effective. It cost me a lot of pain early in my marriage because I didn't seek Christ first and instead chose to look out for myself and my needs. It cost me friendships over the years because I didn't understand the value of friends or know how to treat them according to the examples of Christ. There have been many other areas affected, but these are just a few examples for you to realize the negative impacts of distancing yourself from learning and growing in faith.
The Sunday morning service is an amazing opportunity to grow in your faith. Without it, you're just wasting your time there and hoping that you and yourself will be able to make it through this life on your own. That sounds good, but it just doesn't work.
Here's how you can get some real value out of your Sunday morning services:
1. Eliminate the distractions. Distractions can take the energy you need to focus on the message and make you focus on the useless. Don't worry about what anyone else is doing. Move to a different seat if you're distracted by the short dress or high heels in front of you. Set aside the up and coming sports event later that day and move your focus to the front. Move your focus to Christ.
2. Engage in worship. Now that the distractions have been handled, you can freely move into a time of worship. And forget about what everyone is doing during worship, focus on what you need to do to get closer to God. Sometimes that may require you singing with your arms raised high and other times it you might find yourself sitting down in your chair with your eyes closed and your heart open. Allow yourself to engage in worship.
3. Journal your thoughts. Hearing it is good, but repetition will make it stick! Years ago my wife would always take notes. I'd sit there and watch her like that rock I mentioned earlier. She was engaged and I was, well, just sitting there. Nowadays I try to go deeper into the message. I'll take notes on the sermon. I'll write down great quotes. I'll even come up with blog articles based off the message just so I can learn that much more. Challenge yourself to get a small journal this week and make some personal notes during this week's message.
Eliminate distractions. Engage in worship, and write down your thoughts.
The next time you feel tempted to sleep in or question the importance of your Sunday morning message, remember this post. Remember that God always has a powerful message for you and it requires you to listen.
What personal benefits have you experienced by attending Sunday morning services?
Manturity is a blog built on establishing spiritual maturity in today's man. The goal is to assist men in building better marriages and help them grow in maturity and explore different aspects of manhood. Manturity.com features new weekly blog posts, daily social-media updates and a powerful resources page. Stay up to date with the Manturity blog communities on Facebook and Twitter.
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