A few weeks ago, the kids and I were getting ready for church. My morning did not start off well. I went to bed late the night before and hit my snooze button a few too many times. Once I got up, the crazy of the morning started and I found myself grumbling and complaining about various small things.

Rushing out the door, I barely remembered to grab my Bible. Waiting at the red light to turn into the church seemed to take twice as long as usual. I sat there impatiently fuming, as car after car pulled into the parking lot … ahead of me. All I could think of was how far away I would have to park because of all these people. I kept the grumbling thoughts to myself, hoping my kids couldn’t sense my irritation.

Then, at that very moment, my ten-year-old had a big smile on his face and said, “Don’t you love watching all the cars going into church? Just think, all of these people got up early to come hear about God.”

Nope! Ashamedly, that is not what I’d been thinking at all. But it was just what I needed to hear. Where was my heart? How did I get to this point? What can I do to not repeat this kind of morning?

This wasn’t my first Sunday morning rush—and it probably won’t be my last. Chances are you’ve been in my shoes. Something I am learning is that it helps to be prepared. So, here are a few things I’m doing to cut down on the stress and come ready (inside and out) for church.

Ready My Heart

The posture of our heart determines how we see church, talk about church, and how we enter church. Most important, the posture of my heart determines how I will hear God speak to me through His Word in church.

I’m easily blind to (and sometimes willfully ignore) much of the clutter that seeps into my heart throughout the week. It’s critical that I pray and ask God to search my heart. I’ve found it useful to follow David’s example in Psalm 139:23-24:

“Search me, O God, and know my heart!

Try me and know my thoughts!

And see if there be any grievous way in me,

and lead me in the way everlasting!”

When we find ourselves complaining about church or making excuses for not going, or even attending with the wrong motive, we have to check the posture of our heart.

God helps us to prepare our heart—like soil that is ready to be planted—with His Word. Read the parable of the sower in Matthew 13. Jesus explains that the seed is the Gospel and the soil is our heart. Whatever condition our heart is in will determine whether God’s Word takes root or not. Let’s have good soil, ready and eager to hear God’s Word each week as we enter God’s house.

Ready My Family 

The second thing I try to be mindful of is the practical side of preparation. We all know that getting out of the house early, with or without kids, isn’t always easy. But making a plan the night before can be a game changer.

Decide that church will be a priority. Have clothes clean and laid out the night before. Make sure the diaper bag is packed. Know what’s for breakfast. Get the kids to bed at a decent time.


Ready for Battle

Lastly, prepare for resistance. Pastor Greg has often pointed out that, according to Scripture, we have three enemies we must fight against. The world (1 John 2:15-17); the flesh (Romans 7:18-20); and the devil (1 Peter 5:8). All of them will get in our way and we must stand firm.

The world will discourage you not to go to church. Our flesh will be lazy. We try to convince ourselves we’ll be just fine without fellowship. The devil is a roaring lion prowling around to devour us before we even get out the door.

Let’s be determined to get to church; serve the Lord; and seek out fellowship with believers each and every Sunday. The blessing will be abundant and the reward eternal!

It won’t be easy every week, but I’ve noticed that walking into the sanctuary, hearing the sound of worship, can often be the sweetest time in my week. At that moment, all my worries are put on hold. Or maybe it’s when my kids are all checked into Sunday school! 🙂

In any case, the burdens I’m carrying seem to disappear as I take my seat, ready to worship and listen to the teaching of God’s Word.


Are you with me?

Friends, let’s dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of our life, gaze upon the beauty of the Lord, and inquire in His temple (see Psalm 27:4).

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” (Psalm 122:1)