I believe there are two ways we can approach gathering on a Sunday morning. We can approach that time with either an active or a passive mindset. When you approach something with an active mindset, you’re ready to engage. I want to encourage us to come in on Sunday mornings at Crosspoint with an active, ready to engage approach. Below are 6 ideas of how we, as God’s people, can do that. None of them are incredibly creative. All of them are seemingly small and simple steps, and yet can make all the difference.
Devoted to Jesus
I know for some, Sunday mornings are crazy in the time leading up walking in the door. For others, Sunday mornings are the most relaxed time. No matter where we land on the spectrum of that, we can find time to pray. Maybe it is in solitude at home, maybe on the drive to the church building. Maybe it is arriving 5 minutes early so you can sit quietly in the Living Room, pausing before the service. Maybe your first moment to catch your breath and pray is during the first worship song. As we approach Sundays, let’s pray that the Lord would continue to change and transform us through His Spirit, Word, and Body as we gather.
Bring your Bible, open it, and respond
Yes, we typically put the text that we are preaching from on the screen. We do that primarily for those who have forgotten, or don’t own, or are completely new to the Scriptures. For the Christ follower, let’s bring our copy of the Word with us in the morning and open it up to the passage that we are in that morning. Now we don’t do that in order to complete some sort of spiritual checklist. Here is why we do that. Because we believe the Word of God is living and active (Hebrews 4:12) and that the Spirit of God will use the truth of it to sanctify us (John 17:17). So we should expect that as the Word is preached, the Spirit will illuminate our hearts and minds, and so we should be ready to respond. By opening up our Bible, we can then underline some verse that stood out to us, or make a note in the margin, or write a truth that we needed to hear on our programs (so we don’t forget when we get home). If you don’t have a good Bible, let us know. We’ll get you one. It would be our joy to do so.
Dedicated to One Another
Sit by someone who is sitting alone
Now, some people want to sit alone. They don’t want attention drawn to them, or do that awkward ‘stand, turn and greet your neighbor.’ They could be walking in with great hurt, or anxiety about simply being in the public gathering. Others, are not intentionally sitting alone, but that just happens to be their situation for the day. In either case, it would be loving for us to sit near them. Give them the ‘ole 1 to 2 chair buffer, but also greet them and introduce yourself (if needed). The Lord came in the flesh to dwell among us (John 1:14). Let’s follow in His example and draw near to one another, with a spirit of love, hospitality, and warmth.
Pray for and with someone out loud
The Body of Christ is at its healthiest, when the Body of Christ is actively engaging with and ministering to one another. For me as a pastor, one of the most encouraging things I see on a Sunday morning, is people praying for one another (without a pastor present). Now, pastors, elders, staff, and leaders, love to pray with and for people. I’m not implying that I want to avoid those moments. But I am saying, when brothers and sisters in Christ are praying for one another, they are living out the truth that they themselves are ministers/priests (1 Peter 2). They get it! That a pastor doesn’t sit at the center of the church, as the hub that ties it all together, but our Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ, does. Praise Him! Don’t just tell someone you’ll pray for them that week. Pause, ask them if you can pray for them (they will say yes 99.9% of the time), put your hand on their shoulder, and pray a simple, faith-filled prayer. You and I will never know the impact such moments might have.
Driven to Reach People
Introduce yourself to someone you don’t know
Now, I know for us introverts (me being one), this is outside of comfort zones. I get it. But no matter our personalities, we have been called to be an ambassador for Christ. A reflection and representation of Jesus to the people around us. Jesus didn’t live with blinders on. He moved toward people. We should do the same. It can be as simple as:
- ‘Hi, my name is ________.’ They will introduce themselves typically.
- ‘How long have you been coming to Crosspoint?’ If they’ve been coming for a long time, there is no shame in you just meeting them. Rather, it is great that you’ve connected now. (Psssst…they didn’t know you either, so you’re both in the same boat.)
- ‘I’m glad you’re here.’ Or ‘What brought you to Crosspoint?’ Or ‘How can I be praying for you this week?’
It is not strictly the role of our First Impressions team to make those who walk in our doors, feel welcome. That is OUR role as the Body of Christ. Set a goal to introduce yourself to someone new each week (and then quickly write down their name or repeat it 5-10x in your head after you do). No one is there on a Sunday morning by accident, including you.
Invite someone to attend with you
Every Sunday is a great Sunday to invite a friend or family member to join you. Inviting someone to gather with you on a Sunday morning is a simple way that we reach outward with the Good News. Because you can be confident that at Crosspoint, somewhere in every service, we’re going to share who Jesus is and His Good News. It is of first importance to us. So invite someone to come with you, but don’t stop there. Go out to lunch afterwards, or follow up that week to get their thoughts on the service or the message. Remember, you’re a missionary. It is not just the pastor or communicator on a Sunday morning who shares the Good News, but we are God’s people do so (Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8). Who can you prayerfully invite this week?
Crosspoint, let’s be active in our attendance, for His glory!
For some further thoughts around approaching Sunday mornings, read these three posts: