How do I Prepare for Sundays?
I recently finished up hosting a pre-conference gathering at a Missions Conference in So-Cal, hosted by Dr. David Platt and Francis Chan. I was super blessed to have a chance to interview a once-in-a-generation type leader, David Platt (Watch the FB LIVE video).
However, my most memorable time was joining a panel with SUPER SHARP church gurus sharing to a room full of influencing church leaders. We were invited to participate in a Q/A forum where we were asked a series of real-life-minsitry questions. I absolutely loved the dialogue between the 3 of us. I basically had front row seats and learn so many practical ways they served their church. At one point, I began taking notes while sitting on the panel.
Question #1: How do you prepare for Sundays?
At one point a thought provoking question was asked, “How do you prepare for Sundays?” I could have given your typical and proper answer: pray, read your bible, and pray some more. But, I wanted to be more helpful than some parrot-like response. I wanted to take the time here to share how I responded. Pretty much, this is my WEEKEND PRAYER as I’m driving to church. While football players have their locker room ritual to prep for the BIG GAME on Sunday, this is my Sunday drive-time ritual. Father, will you…
- Anoint me with the gift of PROPHECY. Now, this is where I may get lit up by my reform brothers. In short, I take the position that prophecy is the communication of Biblical truths in an eloquent, encouraging, and convicting manner. (Listen to John Piper’s brief audio response on this topic).
Before I speak, preach, or teach, I’ve already prepared ahead of time my talking points. I’ve written it down and gone over them in my head. Yet, sometimes the Spirit is leading me to say something else. No, not something WAY OUT OF LEFT FIELD where it’s not in my vocabulary. But, there may be a Bible verse, a phrase, or a story that “pops” up in my mind, just at the right time, extemporaneously. And that “phrase” will probably be the one line someone remembers that week.
- Send me PEOPLE to meet for divine connections. I’m asking God to send the right people my way. Out of the many people that could talk to me, I’m hoping the right ones are going to be there for me to have further influencing conversations. It could a potential mentor, disciple, witness, someone to empower, or someone to help lead. It may, also, be a person who brings me an encouraging word or possibly a gentle critique to sharpen my character. Whoever it is, I know God will always send people that need a “look, a touch, and a word”.
- Finally, help me to be PRESENT with my conversations. I want to be more attentive and not think about my next response. I want to empathize with those in pain. I want to focus on the person and look them in the eye as opposed to thinking about what’s coming up next in the program. This applies to everyone: my teammates, the congregants, our volunteers, any even the little kid who keeps asking me to pray for his pet fish.
That’s it! There’s no magic or secret sauce for me when preparing for the Sunday Game. Or maybe, that is the secret sauce. I often need to be reminded that PRAYER is what need to do most. I hope this has helped you think about the SPECIFICS of what I pray and expect God to do on any given Sunday.
What would you add to this list? Are there any scriptures that come to mind that I should add to this blog? Please COMMENT BELOW.