Even if I didn’t feel this strong sense of priority instilled deep within and even if I didn’t, though I do, want and look forward to being with other Christians to worship together corporately, I still must obey God’s command to participate in regular corporate worship. Hebrews 10:25 is very clear that we are not to “give up meeting together.” Donald Whitney, in his foremost book Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, states “It’s undeniable that ‘meeting together’ means to worship God in the physical presence of other believers.”
Here are 11 ways to make corporate worship a priority and to display to you children and others the importance of meeting together in the physical presence of other believers for worship:
- Show Up – The number one way you can begin to make going to church a habitual priority is simply showing up. The same can be said for showing your family that church is important….just go to church.
- Be On Time – Showing up late displays an attitude that corporate worship is not worthy of being prompt and that being together for worship is unimportant. While there are good excuses for being tardy at times, a regular delay in arrival displays that you don’t value your time with other believers.
- Pray For Your Pastors – Make it a priority to pray for the leaders God has placed at your church. Pray before you go to church for the pastor who will be leading others in worship through teaching the Bible and for the music team who will lead other in worship through music.
- Don’t Make Excuses or Exceptions – Don’t make excuses for not going to church. Making exceptions to not go to church should be an exception. Very few things should make you “give up meeting together.” A few common reasons I’ve seen as poor excusing for not attending church are sports, being tired, having a busy schedule, and having visitors in your home.
- Arrange Your Vacations – Arrange your out-of-town travel the best you can in order to be home for church. We often return home on Saturdays in order to be in church on Sunday. Growing up, our family would find and attend a local church wherever we were vacationing.
- Be Creative – Sunday is not the ONLY day that believers meet together for corporate worship. While many churches have multiple services on Sundays to help accommodate your schedule, many also have services on Saturday or other days of the week.
- Forgive People – Don’t let people get in the way of worshiping with other believers. We’ve all got junk in our lives. That is exactly why we need to walk the Christian life with others trying to walk the Christian life. If you’ve been hurt by someone at church, seek to forgive. If there are people that you don’t like as much as others, that’s okay. Chances are, there are some who don’t like you either.
- Don’t Be A Critic – If you want regular corporate worship to become a priority, you may need to back off on being so critical. As you seek to enjoy worshiping with other believers and find the parts of the service that help you most connect with God and others, you will find yourself being less critical of the small things that likely don’t matter anyway.
- Be Accountable – Find a fellow believer who can keep you accountable. Tell a pastor or other leader in your church that you are working on making attendance a priority. When you miss, they can follow up with you and keep you accountable. This follow-up will also help you stay connected as you may have a good reason you weren’t at church, like you were sick. This will provide an opportunity for the church to serve and pray for you.
- Get Involved – Time and time again in working with my mentor in church consulting and in my studies of missions and church growth, I’ve found that those who get involved in serving at church make church a high priority. When you begin to invest your time and energy, you become an even bigger part of something bigger than yourself.
- Give – Where your money goes shows where your heart is. Investing your money in your local church will help you make church a priority. Sacrificially giving will show your family that you take worshiping together with other believers seriously. In fact, giving a tithe and offering is an act of worship in itself, which is another way to be involved in part of the corporate worship service.