We all get caught going through the motions sometimes. We all know that our God deserves more, though, and we know that the more we put in the more we’ll get out. Here are 11 things you can do to better engage your heart in worship, particularly on Sunday.

  1. Pray before you go
    There are so many things we can pray for to get our minds in the right place. Give thanks for the blessings of the week to get the mind focused on why we worship. Pray for those leading worship. Pray that the cares and distractions of the world would be taken away. Pray for an open heart and mind.
  2. Read before you go
    Pick a text that will get your mind in the right place. It could be a psalm of praise, a section about what Jesus has done for us, or anything that prepares the mind to worship God and show love to the church family.
  3. Bring your Bible
    This is going to sound strange, but I’m a firm believer that not all Bibles are created equal. By that I mean that every Christian should have a go-to Bible that can’t just be replaced by a pew Bible or an app. Yes, they have the same words and same powerful truth. But it makes a difference when you get a Bible you can develop a bond with and keep near you throughout the week.
  4. Be there
    Sporadic attendance is one of the best ways to kill enthusiastic worship. As far as it is in your power (barring emergencies, sicknesses, and injuries), plan to be there each week. Giving God the Sundays that aren’t occupied by “something better to do” is offering Him that which costs us nothing (2 Samuel 24:24), and there’s no value in that.
  5. Go with a plan to encourage
    Hebrews 10:25 tells us not to forsake the assembly, but 10:24 tells us why – we need to be there to stir each other up to greater love and good works. Don’t just go as a spectator or a consumer. Go with a plan to help spread the love of Christ to others.
  6. Go to Bible class
    It’s hard to grow in the faith with just a sermon every week. While attending Bible class still doesn’t give us all the spiritual nourishment we need, it certainly doesn’t hurt. And, it just adds to the time around our Christian family, which should always be a priority.
  7. Remind yourself why you’re there
    It’s terribly easy to sit in our regular seat, fall into our regular routine, and lose sight of why we’ve come. Take a moment before worship begins to refocus on the God you’ve come to praise.
  8. Think about the words to the songs
    It’s amazing how well something can become welded into our memory when put to a tune. Unfortunately, that just makes it that much easier to let our minds drifts as we repeat words we’ve sang 100x. Most of us could just about sing “Amazing Grace” in our sleep. That’s why it’s important that we make a point to think about the words and let the deep truths set in to our hearts.
  9. Take notes
    You don’t have to get the lesson down word-for-word. But it makes a difference if you can write down the Scripture references, catch the major points, and write down any lines that particularly stand out to you.
  10. Talk about the sermon afterward
    Any time you go with a friend to a movie or sporting event, it’s only natural to talk about what you just experienced together. Whether in the foyer before you leave or over lunch, take some time to rehash what you learned in the sermon or class.
  11. Revisit your notes during the week
    Each of these last three points are intended for a specific purpose – helping you remember the sermon and internalize its truths. Even as the preacher it’s sometimes hard to remember the finer points of the sermon a few days into the week. But the sermon wasn’t meant to be something that goes in one ear and out the other, an item on the list we can check off for the week. The best way to make use of the sermon and be prepared to hear another next week is to interact with the lesson in a way that makes it stick.