How to Prepare Yourself and Your Family for Church
welcome to this episode of real Christianity my name is Dale Partridge reach week I offer 15 to 20-minute answers to tough theological and pastoral question this is 100% listener support audio Ministry of relearn. Org and for those who don't know our mission a tree learn.org is to educate and equip ordinary Christians to plant biblical confessional and missional house churches for more information just visit relearn. Org forward slash house
 does the majority of Christians have likely never heard what I'm going to be sharing with you today everybody knows that the pastor needs to prepare for Sunday but I assume many if not most Christians have no idea what it means to prepare themselves and their family for church on Sunday another words most Christians just show up on Sunday they might wear a nice outfit they may be on time but are they prepared to fulfill their biblical role on Sunday morning and even better question is do they even know what their biblical role is there going to be discussing this and more but before I begin I just want to make one quick announcement
 if you guys know we are getting close to closing out the 2020 year and this year has been such a wild year I think everybody's ready for that but our ministry it has accomplished so much this year even in the midst of the cultural chaos and it's been because of your faithful support of our ministry we launched a brand new website a tree learn.org that was a major project by the way we released a book on our Biblical house church doctrine and convictions we launched the standard Victory program for Breaking Free from pronography we opened our church planting school at st. Justin's. Org we recorded 50 more podcast added another 50 articles to the website hired a few of part-time staff members and more we've done so much and this coming year we have laid some massive Ministry hopes before the Lord in prayer and our hope is
 plant 50 new house churches in 2022 so the work would be done next year in 2021
 we want to film a 90-minute house Church documentary we want to release a new book and hire some more support staff to be honest without the help of the church we just cannot do that we need your help we have 40,000 monthly listeners to this podcast and you might think that just somebody else is going to give and you know you don't need to worry about it to someone else will will make the donation but that's just not how Christians are called The View generosity this is an opportunity to plant biblical church has to preach the gospel in the strength and thousands of Christians and doctorate in Theology and this is Kingdom building this is Kingdom work and if we can get a thousand people that's that's 2.5% of our listening audience to commit to 20 bucks a month just 20 bucks a month we would have the budget to accomplish those projects you know what I'm asking you is
 would you just take just a minute to pray and ask the Lord what he would have you do about that maybe it's nothing maybe you're already supporting several Ministries and you feel content and the Lord convicted it actually give more to another minute straight to your local church to another family that's in need maybe that's the case but maybe the Lord asking you to give you know just a one-time gift to us and our ministry or $10 a month or $50 a month my only request is that you would just take a minute and ask the Lord if he has you to do anything about it and for those of you that are interested in supporting our work here at realtor.org you can visit relearn. Org donate it'll only take you 90 seconds to fill out the form set an automatic donation you can cancel it at any time again not to relearn. Org forward slash donate would be a huge blessing we promise that we will be faithful with those
 use them well be efficient with them and focus our main mission on Great Commission work alright on that note today's question comes in from Molly and she's from Danbury Connecticut I've never been there she asks the question every Sunday I come to church and I sing the songs I listen to the sermon I say hello to a few friends and I leave be honest it feels monotonous if his church supposed to be this way is this what God wanted how can I prepare myself to get the most out of my Sunday church Gathering am I missing something
 okay great question Molly this is actually a very important question over the past hundred years or so a churches have dramatically increased in size and as a result churches feel less like community and more like an event and I say this all the time in our ministry but but we plant House Church is not because we disagree with the traditional church ecclesiology or that we think that house churches are right or better that's not why we do that and we love the traditional Church our ministry plant house churches because we believe church is most fruitful when it's small
 in other words I really do believe that size is the enemy of intimacy and relational intimacy is generally not always but generally one of the required ingredients for Spiritual maturity deep fellowship and fruitfulness and in the size of a church
 wilberth all types of unintentional problem so I'm what I mean by that is
 when a church grows into a crowd it generates a sense of audience Christianity and it gives birth to what I call a spectator mindset and this is why so many people don't feel convicted when they don't show up to church right they view themselves as an inactive spectator of an event and not an active participant of a gathering of God's people
 you know they truly believe that their attendance or lack thereof affects nobody but themselves and in many cases the right now that's wrong thinking we're going to talk about that here in a minute but what I'm trying to say Molly is it it sounds like your mindset is a product of conveyor belt Christianity sounds like you're feeling 10 ft wide and 1 inch deep you don't know why you don't like it and you're looking for ways to fix it but you don't know where to begin
 now you might not even realize how affected You Are by this either I don't think a lot of us do but the end of your question Molly you asked you you made the statement how can I prepare myself to get the most out of my Sunday church Gathering
 again this is this question is the product of classic American individualistic consumer thinking we always want to get the most out of something for our own benefit and I'm guilty of this too but this is not a way to think biblically yes the church has elements of consumption where we should think about how to be effective in our time together but the church Gathering is not a college class or a conference where we're trying to get our money's worth out of it right meaning the church is not a consumer activity where we're entertained or educated right it's a contributor activity also we're at a fide
 but again I understand do Christians have come to this type of thinking right when you when you go to traditional Church even the contributing feels like a job description more than organic Spirit-filled participatory community and maybe get to be a greeter or a parking lot attendant or or maybe you deserve it the children's ministry or being Usher part of the security team right remind you all of those rolls have nothing to do with the Bible's design for church those are simply products church that has grown too large
 10 as a result has a grown too large I'm just say they're products of a church that has grown large
 write it as a result we start inventing Ministry rolls like the parking lot Pastor that look very similar to a business that puts on weekly events then we do a Church of God's people seen in the scripture I'm not saying that these things are unbiblical but they are extra biblical okay but store light bulbs in door knobs right so the light bulbs and doorknobs you need those for church and they're not in the Bible either but you get what I'm saying is that those
 those ideas of Usher's and you know children's ministry these are not biblical ideas in principle maybe but they are absolutely extra biblical and throughout your history are extra physical
 and I say all this because before I can offer some ways for you Mali and anybody is listening with this question prepare yourself in your family for church I need to see I need you to see how deeply the American Church structure has influence the way we View Church and and once were aware of this we can look at a few biblical tips that we can use. Has not only as a way to to make your local church experience more physical but also to make your experience more fruitful and so I have three simple points that I think will help any Christian have a more fruitful Church experience and I'll be speaking to the individual Christian but if you have a family your you can apply these things these biblical principles to your children and to your family as a whole number one I would say is this
 you got to start with being sober on Sunday number one is be sober on Sunday and I'm not talking about drinking alcohol or doing drugs talking about being spiritually sober on Sunday Sunday is just not any day cuz this is the Lord's day this is the weekly memorialization of your Redemption okay this is the day of Christ's Resurrection this is a remembrance of God's validation of Jesus's perfect sacrifice and atonement for your sins on the cross right that's what the resurrection was right this is the day that signifies our Sabbath that is our Eternal Rest In Christ this is the day that God's people have historically come together in the Name of Christ their maker their creator right to celebrate and worship Jesus for his grace and mercy upon their souls that's what Sunday is it we need to be sober about that
 okay so what's the first step is to be sober When we arrive at the meeting of the Saints don't walk in with a worry heart don't walk in with distracted you know I was thinking about the trivialities of the week cuz you're coming to worship The God Who has orchestrated every circumstance in your life and can change all realities right have your heart posture set to seek him his look in and just sit and rest in his sovereignty Place him on the throne of your hearts to hand all of your anxieties in in your fears to him on this day that's that's the goal and ultimately Sunday is a time of reverent meditation and reflection upon the great kindness of our God your children need to see this posture in you your children and your wife if you're if you're the spiritual leader of your home need to see this posture in you
 need to hear you pray and rejoice and worship and praise him in the morning long before you walk into the door to the church okay then Sunday is not just about church Sunday is the Lord's day that means that you wake up differently you eat lunch differently you talk about things differently on that day it's the Lord's day okay they need to see Mom and Dad approaching Sunday with not only seriousness spiritual seriousness but with joy and gratitude
 you know what you don't want them to see is that Sunday is always casual and light because the truth is it's not either of those things so Step One is I would say start with spiritual sobriety number 2
 is don't show up empty minded
 1st Corinthians 14:26 tells us that you know what was your results from the Gathering of the Saints is edification reads this way it says when you come together each one has a him a lesson a revelation of tongue or an interpretation let all things be done for edification okay so first it says when you come together each one right this is something that has a participatory deal here now it's some of your Bibles might say building up instead of edification but the Sunday meeting is not for entertainment or motivation or for sharing about your recent vacation it's for building up the church in maturity by way of the word of God by way of Doctrine by way of worship by way of prayer encouragement exhortation rebuked discipline Revelation testimony this is this is not just a command of pastors this is a cim
 and to all Christians
 no most Christian show up on Sunday with nothing to give or offer or to share and if they did have something of value during the week they forgot about it and this is a selfish habit we have to stop thinking that what God accomplishes in my life during the week has nothing to do with the life of others in the church we have to stop thinking this way we are everybody we need to start thinking the way that we would if we imagine ourselves as connected to other believers you know we weep with each other and we Rejoice with each other we need to think like a member of the body of Christ not just an independent entity with my own private relationship with Jesus
 guess who this is again for getting deep here but don't show up empty minded again what a church has
 consumer mindset instead of a contributor mindset people don't think about how they might edified others right they simply think about how the service in the pastor in the worship in the sermon my tattify them
 again this is not the way that Christians are supposed to be thinking so here's here's what help me and this is hopefully this practical I I keep a note in my phone each week where I collect any insights that I may have received during my devotional time and prayer requests that I might have throughout the week any situations are people I heard about who need prayer and he needs our family might have that can be met by others in the church any confession time I need to make to a friend any apologies I might have for someone you know I may have hurt any quotes from theology books that may have been encouraging to me during the week and I bring them on Sunday I don't show up empty minded I sure will be ready to contribute to build others up with the wisdom in the worship of God according to the scriptures
 now the obvious question for those of you who are not in a house church is willing to share these things right because you're not in a
 format or environment you're in a crowd where you have not a monologue or not a dialogue but a monologue you know what you got to figure out when do I do these things when do I bring the things are in my brain the reason again we we don't we show up empty minded because the the actual structure of the church
 promotes that it doesn't tell us or give us an opportunity to share anything so therefore we don't bring anything and that's that's just not the way that it's supposed to be according to scripture
 but for those of you that are in a traditional Church in aren't in a dialogue contributor Centric Church the way you can do that is before your service you can talk and bring education
 hug somebody Listen to Somebody Pray for somebody whatever it might be a laugh with somebody but I defy them with truth and scripture you can do this after the service you can do this at lunch wherever you can build up another believer in your local church on a Sunday that do that do that and you don't have to come up with 10 things either but just don't come up with nothing to this is a great place to start fulfilling your biblical role in the local church the last thing I'm going to say is call the Saints on Saturday nights we got three things here right be spiritually sober on Sunday don't show up empty minded and number three call the Saints on Saturday
 the coming together of the church should be driven by relationship not my duty all right I'm going to say that one more time I want you to let this one just burn into your soul for a second the coming together of the church should be driven by relationship not by Duty sure
 Kpop part of our attendance is duty but if you come each Sunday solely because it's the right thing to do and not because you're eager to gather with other believers
 and to worship God as the church not independently where I'm sitting here at the corner and I'm heading my own experience with Jesus independent of the church if not it's not a theologically sound idea
 but you're coming together as the church if you're if you're not understanding it that way that's a red flag
 get relationships in the church the body of Christ is critical love is the central ethic in Christianity and its love for God's people by way of relationship isn't present in your local church experience this needs to be dealt with you need to figure out why you're not connected to people there
 is it you is it them is it the culture of the church but the last thing we need is a Church of God's people were everybody feels lonely because it's 10 ft wide and one is deep and nobody knows each other
 kids are over a hundred one another's in the New Testament and if this isn't enough evidence of Jesus expects his children to be in deep reciprocating relationship with each other that I don't I don't know what we'll see but the sad thing is it many many Christians show up each Sunday like good soldiers reporting for Duty and nobody ever goes beyond saying hi to them and there's no invitation to lunch there's no switching phone numbers there's just small talk at least people feeling exactly the opposite of how Christians are supposed to feel when they're with each other which is connected you know the Bible talks about loving one another confessing your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed during the burdens of one of them a decent this is the the language
 of New Testament life
 infellowship participatory reciprocating fellowship with one another
 the most of us know someone at our local church and here's my suggestion call them on Saturday and let them know that you're excited to fellowship with them the following day
 when Believers realize that other believers are anticipating their presents they begin to feel connected and not just one person in a crowd and if you have several friends this can be a great way to nurture real Biblical Community with a new traditional church and how sure can we do this is far more natural okay forget what a house Church nobody misses Church unless they're sick or out of town and why would they be the house church is so intimate and small you know every single person over time these people become like family to you and why would you miss a gathering to worship Jesus with all the people that you love the most you wouldn't but you wouldn't
 and that's why our ministry so passionate about small the biblical home Gathering but again even if you're in a large traditional church you can apply this Principle as a way to increase the rich relationships the remind the Christians in your local church how wonderful the Sunday Gathering is ones with people who know and love you
 it so that that's that's my thing call people today before let him know that you're excited to see them how would you feel someone did that for you that's what church is supposed to be like it's worshipping God in fellowship with one another
 it's a beautiful place when we actually get ourselves accurate with the scriptures in a fruitful intimate environment so there you have it Molly we got three things right we got be spiritually sober about Sunday don't show up empty minded and call the Saints on Saturday and so
 I'm going to leave you guys with just two other resources that might be helpful for you they were helpful for me when I Was preparing this podcast I think they're going to offer further instruction for understanding your role in the local church out of you the local church and you can find these the post the post page for this episode a tree learn.org this is episode 113 titled how to prepare yourself and your family for church you can just search that in the search bar so the First Resource is a video short couple minutes long by John MacArthur on its side of every believer has responsibilities now the second video is a video by Paul Washer and it's titled God determines How We Do church it's over those resources will be at a fine for you guys if your regular listen to this episode or two this podcast would you guys do me a favor and just tap the stars in the iTunes or the podcast app you don't need to write anything but if you do write something I will read it in some of you guys have left them in
 hurricane reviews recently thank you these are so very helpful to hear for us I mean we just feel so encouraged when someone writes a review so if you guys are going to write a review we will read it and also if you guys don't follow us on Instagram or Facebook again that's just weird. Org you guys can find us there you can also follow me on Twitter at Dale Partridge I'm putting out regular content they're just some of the daily thinking's and quotes that that come to mind my name is Dale Partridge and I will see you guys next week on real Christian
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