For both visitors and regular attendees, three keys exist to having a successful, meaningful, and Spirit-filled church experience: attitude, prayer, and expectation. Following these steps can make most any church experience—despite its shortcomings—a positive one.
Consider these five discussion questions about How to Go to Church.
1. In going to church I’ve experienced both positive and negative outcomes, which often hinged on my attitude, prayer, and expectations—or the lack thereof.
Which of these three keys should we focus on to realize a more positive outcome at church?
Tip 1: Attitude is Everything
If we approach church with a bad attitude, we shouldn’t expect to enjoy our time there. It’s foolish to assume a positive outcome if we hold a surly disposition.
2. When we approach church positively, our optimism will direct our attention to celebrate the noteworthy and give us the grace to overlook the not-so-great.
What can we do to go to church with an eager attitude? How can we encourage others to do the same?
Tip 2: Prayer Is Essential
When Candy and I started visiting churches, we committed ourselves to a pre-church prayer each week. So significant were the benefits of these prayers that we continued the practice when we returned to our home church.
3. After several weeks, however, our pre-church prayer slipped into a rut, with us repeating the same tired phrases each time.
Are we willing to pray before church every Sunday? How can we avoid our prayers becoming routine?
Tip 3: Expectations Form Experience
The foundation formed by prayer prepares us for the church service. It serves to shape expectations, which drives experience. Most of the time, positive expectations result in positive outcomes, while negative thinking produces negative experiences.
4. We say our pre-church prayer in faith, and we prove it from the activities that spring forth from our expectations. This is how we put faith into action.
If we don’t like church, who’s to blame: church, God, or us?
Go to Church Summary
Whether visiting a new church or attending our home church, we should follow a wise strategy, remembering that attitude is everything, prayer is essential, and expectations form experience. Then we’ll be ready to worship God and serve others.
5. When we go to church properly prepared, we can receive God’s blessing and be a blessing to others.
What must we change to ensure we go to church with the right attitude, covered with prayer, and with godly expectations?
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Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.