Preparation as an Act of Worship

Sunday mornings are not for the faint of heart! Everything is going to go wrong on a Sunday morning– car batteries die, the marathon blocks your route to church, shoes go missing, or worse, on your way out the door you find your toddler eating old birthday cake out of the trash can covered in cake and icing (a true Holland family story). On top of the unexpected adventures, we are often exhausted from whatever we did on Saturday night, making it easier to hit snooze too many times or wake up grumpy. The list of Sunday morning distractions is endless and made up of scenarios so crazy we can’t make them up! If we make it to church despite the challenges, there are often tears on our kids’ faces, grudges in our hearts, or hunger in our bellies from the breakfast we didn’t have time to eat. We can easily create a pattern of coming into corporate worship week after week frazzled and weighed down with life rather than ready to worship with all our heart, mind and strength.

In Children’s Worship at Christ the King each week, the kids use their loud voices to shout, “HAPPY LORD’S DAY!!” The sad reality is that for many of us Sundays feel anything but “happy.” Praise be to God that he meets us in our weakness. He is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love (Psalm 86:15). Even when we are distracted, he draws near to us in worship with his special presence found in the scriptures, the gathering of believers, corporate prayer, the preaching of God’s word, and the sacraments.

Over the years, when Sunday mornings have been repeatedly stressful, I have found it convicting and telling to ponder if I have added to the burdens on Sunday morning by my lack of forethought and preparation. Have I ordered my family’s weekdays and weekends in such a way as to prioritize corporate worship on Sunday? Do my kids feel excitement or dread about the upcoming Lord’s Day? Could I have gathered outfits Saturday night to save time on Sunday mornings or thought through how to handle the Saturday night sleepover or Sunday sporting events so that they didn’t interfere with worship? Have I talked through expectations for Sunday with my family?

All of us carefully orchestrate our school days and nights to help our children thrive at school because we value their education. Do we value their spiritual growth and corporate worship in the same way? Prioritizing worship and the details that go into being present with an engaged mind and a heart that is excited about glorifying the Lord takes the same careful orchestration. Ironically, the planning for worship is itself an act of worship!

To help you prepare your hearts and the hearts of your kids for Sunday worship, Christ the King posts the orders of worship for Sunday on the website by Fridays. I encourage you to access them and read the sermon passage out loud to your kids before worship or listen to the hymns that we will sing in worship on Spotify while driving your kids around on the weekends. Get creative and have fun thinking about how to prioritize the upcoming Sunday with the goal of saying with your kids, “HAPPY LORD’S DAY!” and meaning it.
Shannon Holland
Director of Children's Ministry