Weekender (2/13/2013)

New Life in Christ Weekender
A short reminder of events happening this weekend.

[Events listed after this short message]

Dear New Life in Christ Family,

It has been a great joy to have church planter Gordon Duncan and his family with us over the last few weeks, and it has been especially encouraging to see how the new church they are starting has gotten to a great start. During a recent conversation, I was really inspired to hear how his family prepared for our worship service, and I asked him to write a short article for the Weekender on preparing for church on Sundays. This is what he wrote.

Because of the transition the Duncan family has been through, we recently visited seven different churches over the period of about twelve weeks. This was quite a change for my family as I had been the pastor of Sovereign King Church for the past seven years. Landry and Emma really only know that one church. Aside from a vacation here and there, that is the only style of worship they know. I’m the only pastor they have had.

That means that those twelve weeks’ worth of services was quite a change for my family. Now, not all of that was bad. It was refreshing for me and my family to hear sermons that I didn’t preach. It was refreshing to sing new songs. It was exciting to visit old and meet new friends.

But I recently realized how these dynamics were making worship difficult for my family. We weren’t preparing for Sunday worship like we used to; by setting aside time on Saturday to rest and praying for the next day’s services.

After this realization, I had a good conversation with my wife Amy who was also troubled with the events. I confessed that I had grown too comfortable in this interim period and that I wasn’t preparing either my heart or my family’s heart well for worship.

The next Sunday was going to be different.

As I approached the week, I was reminded of that which we used to hold dear. Typically, I would talk about the passage of scripture for the coming week, and I would do it with the family, often at dinner. So that week, we talked a lot more about scripture. Since the music at New Life was a bit different than what my children were used to, I got some of the music from the office and shared it with my family. We talked about Sunday well before Sunday morning. We prayed specifically Saturday night about worshiping in fear and awe and thankfulness.

Though it wasn’t without incident, that Lord’s Day was much more refreshing. We walked our kids moment by moment through the service. We sang together and read the scriptures together. I explained and walked my kids through each element. We thanked God, received the benedictory blessing, and went home for rest.

The whole experience has reminded me that preparing for worship is an entire week process. Our hearts and our children’s hearts are helped when we discuss the upcoming passage long before Sunday. Singing the songs that we are going to sing enables us to sing comfortably (contact the church office on Friday for this if you like). Praying God’s peace and rest over us on Saturday night and even Sunday before getting in the car blesses your family.

And then, the larger people of God gather, we worship with joy, and God is glorified. Hopefully my failures will be help to you. I pray God reminds me of these experiences so that worship continues to be rich for my family.

But please hear me. You may not do this, get to it, or even remember this email by Sunday. Don’t let lack of preparation keep you from worship. The grace of Christ is too strong for us to stay away. Prepared or not, we need to arrive with the hopeful expectation that Christ will pour out His grace and transform us as we worship.

Thank God for that.

How do you prepare for worship? I’d love to hear back from you.

I’m looking forward to seeing you Sunday morning!

Faithfully Yours,
Pastor Sean

[Events List]

Friday
Senior High Youth meet to drive to YOWAW at 7:30 AM – Pray for our youth on this life-changing weekend as they discern the Lord’s will for them in missions.

Creation Club (7:30 PM) – “Creation/Evolution – Does it Matter What We Believe?” The fossil record is often used as an evidence of evolution. But what do fossils really show? In reality fossils are scientific evidence for the Bible. Mike Riddle, Captain USMC (Ret.) has a degree in mathematics, MA in education and 25 years of experience in the computer field. He will lead a discussion on world and life views based on creation and evolution. The DVD is titled “Creation / evolution does it matter what we believe?”

Saturday
Women’s Breakfast at 8:30 AM – On the third Saturday of each month, the women of New Life in Christ Church gather for breakfast at 8:30 AM. It’s great food, it’s great fellowship, and it’s always a good time in God’s Word. Invite a friend.

Sunday
• Sunday School – 9 AM (click here to see our web page for a list of classes)
• Worship Service – 10 AM –Pastor Doug Preaching
• Evening Service – 6 PM – Rich Leino Speaking
• Junior and Senior High Youth Groups – Sunday at 7 PM
• Come to Pray – Corporate Prayer at 7 PM.

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