Sundays are awesome. Sundays are special. And there's a lot that goes into them. Plus, as believers we're committed to being with each other to worship God and encourage each other in the faith. So, since we are committed to gathering together on Sundays, what are some things we can do to make the most of Sundays before Sunday? There could be a lot said in this area, but here are three things that I think every believer should do to make the most of Sunday before Sunday.
1. Spend time in prayerful expectation for Sunday’s worship gathering.
God wants us to pray. God wants to give us good gifts. God wants to answer the prayers of his people. So pray in expectation for Sunday! Here’s a short list of things you could pray for:
- Pray for the pastor preaching that day
- Pray for the sermon
- Pray for the elder doing communion
- Pray for a heart that is open and ready to be taught by the word of God
- Pray that other’s hearts would be open and ready to be taught
- Pray for the salvation of people who have been coming who aren’t saved
- Pray for the sanctification of people who have been coming who are saved
- Pray for boldness to invite others to come
- Pray for boldness for others to invite others to come
- Pray for those who have been invited to come, to actually come
- Pray for new people to come who haven’t been invited personally
- Pray for the Redeemed Kids teachers and their lesson preparation
- Pray for the Redeemed Kids to be impacted by the lessons
- Pray for the greeters, nursery workers, hospitality persons, set up, and clean up crews
2. Spend time reading and talking about the passage that will be preached.
One of the distinctives at Redeemed South Bay is expository preaching. Our sermons are based on the word of God. We believe that the point of our sermons should be the point of the text. We believe we should relay on Sundays what God has revealed in His word. After all, it’s His word, not our words that save. His word that never returns void, and His word that accomplishes all that He sends it forth to accomplish. So we want to preach His word.
Along with that, we recognize that all scripture appears in a context and should be understood in its context. For that reason we also preach sequentially through books. We are currently working our way through the book of Acts so it’s very easy to know what the sermon is going to be on the next week. It will be on the next passage in Acts! We invite you to study along with us and don’t take our word for everything you hear, find it for yourself in His word! Here are some different ideas that you can employ to maximize our study through Acts.
- If the sermon is on Acts 6:1-8. Read Acts 6:1-8.
- If the sermon is on Acts 6:1-8. Read acts 6:1-8 and talk about it with friends or family.
- If the sermon is on Acts 6:1-8. Read from the beginning of Acts up to the point where we are. So read Acts 1-6 and try to grasp the big picture of the letter. Think through what has gone on so far, how is the gospel moving forward, how are Jesus’ disciples fulfilling the commandment he gave them to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, and to the ends of the earth?
- If the sermon is on Acts 6:1-8. Read Acts 6:1-8 and write down as many questions as you have about the section, then Read Acts 1-6 and see if the context answered any of the questions. Then wait and see if the sermon answers any of the questions. Then if you still have questions ask the pastor who preached that day! There’s much that a pastor can’t fit into a sermon. Remember that one of the greatest compliments you can give to a teacher is to ask a question!
Since we are moving through the book of Acts sequentially, and preaching expository sermons, we have every opportunity to gather as a church on Sunday excited and prepared to learn more and help others learn more. Our hope is that we continually become a people who are growing in knowledge and love for God and His word.
3. Spend time thinking about who you can invite to church, and then invite them.
This one is simple but usually we just don’t set aside time to do it. Or we don’t take advantage of the opportunities we have to do it. Encourage one another to do this, remind your family or friends midweek that Sunday is coming, so invite someone! Pray about who you can invite to church on Sunday, and then pray that they come! Many people are willing to come to church if they are just invited. It’s not a very large request to make that someone come check it out. Tell them that you would love to know what they think about it. Get a conversation going. Maybe they won’t come, but at least you can learn about them and their views of church and God. Who knows, it may just bring about the opportunity to talk to them about those things more in the future.
Even better then inviting someone to church is inviting them to church and then to hang out afterward. Don’t just show interest in them coming to church, show interest in them. Love them. Spend time with them. Whether that’s dinner at your place, or an activity, or going out to eat, do something with them afterward. If we won’t spend as much time with people outside of church as we are asking them to spend inside the church, we’re asking for more then we are willing to give. And we should be a most giving people.
However you do it is up to you, but set aside time and think each week about people who aren’t fellowshipping with the people of God, and invite them to come.
If you do these three things you will be well on your way to making the most of Sunday before Sunday. Let’s be a prayerful people, praying that God would move mightily among his people for his glory and their joy and maturity in the faith. Let’s be a people who are studying together and learning together the inspired books of God’s word. And lastly, lets be a people who are actively inviting others to taste and see that the Lord is good, his salvation is great, and his people are loving.