J. Gordon Duncan

Culture, Business, Fitness, Etc.

Training to Win

I’m gradually bringing the better posts from my old site over, so in reading through them, I decided to repost this one.  Originally entitled “Practical Worship Preparation for Church Service Leaders (and Everyone Else Too)” I’ve simplified it to “Training to Win.”  I hope it helps in your readiness for worship tomorrow.

Each and every believer should prepare themselves for worship.  Examining your heart prior to walking into a worship service enables you to worship more freely and authentically.  Yes, many worship services provide for plenty of opportunities for examination like a Call to Worship or a Time of Repentance, but those times are made more fruitful if your heart is already prepared by time in prayer and the word.  In worship, we are to present our entire self (doubts, hopes, sins, et al) to God for worship, and the preparation of our hearts enables us to glorify God to greater depths than otherwise would be possible.

God is gracious.  He cleans up our messes which means we can (and often) show up for worship without any preparation.  God still changes us, convicts us, and receives glory in the doing, but our goal should be to cast the utmost glory possible to our Heavenly Father.  Preparation helps us to do that.

The servants of a worship service (pastor, musician, etc) have even more responsibility to be prepared.  The skills of singing, playing, and preaching are the barest of requirements for leading God’s people.  Those that call people to worship should already be where they are asking others to go.  After 20 years of playing music and actively participating in worship services, I’ve learned a few things from my mistakes.  Let me share them with you.

Proper preparation begins even the day before worship.  Some of these things are obvious but are worth mentioning.  First and foremost, make sure that you are well rested physically.  This means for many folks, that the activities of Saturday night need to be examined or re-examined.  If you are going to be out or up late, that activity may not work well for worship preparation.  Beginning the process of inviting the Spirit to open your heart to worship and the leading of worship is crucial.  Engage in scripture study so your mind might be attuned to the words of God that are being proclaimed.  If you know the passage of scripture being preached on, or if there is a sermon preview, you should familiarize yourself with it so as to be praying through the themes of worship in the service.  Practically, doing things like picking out your clothes or your children’s clothes the night before helps to remove possible distraction.

If there is anything that you need to carry to worship (copies of music, musical equipment, etc), gather those together the night before and make sure they are in a condition that is worship ready.  I learned long ago to always have a backup guitar available in case I break a string or if there is some other equipment malfunction.  At the most minimum for the musician, they should have listened to the music that will be sung and be familiar and proficient with the parts that they will be playing and singing well before Sunday.  Unless there are no copies of music to familiarize yourself with, you should never be experiencing a song for the first time on a Sunday morning.

These things don’t qualify you to worship or worship better.  Only Christ’s redemptive work does that.  However, proper preparation, whether in a lead role or support, removes many of the distractions that keep your heart and others from properly worshiping God.



August 22, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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