Star Wars: The Force Awakens opened as the largest grossing film ever. People around the world could not wait for this movie. They prepared and anticipated it since the first trailer was released last April. Eager fans set up web sites, analyzed leaked out takes and flooded social media. Many spent 12 to 15 hours re-watching all six previous films. They dressed in Darth Vader and Chewbacca costumes. They anticipated this movie.
What if we anticipated God in worship the way the world anticipated Star Wars. What could God do if we awakened that kind of force in worship? Would we make more disciples of Christ? Would our churches become more vital? Would more people be reached? Would more lives transformed?
My most powerful worship moments happen when the pastor, leaders and congregation come to church expecting God to show up. When the people of God come together in anticipation of God’s presence and movement, God does great things.
We worship the God who spoke the earth into motion. Who separated the darkness from the light. Who created the mountains, stars, animals, sunsets and sushi. Who knows every hair on our head. Whose son stepped down from heaven for us. Who is present at all times. Who gives us every good thing. Who loves us more than we can imagine.
What can we do to spark a passion and anticipation for the gathering of God’s people (other than produce Star Wars trailers)? Here are a few ideas to start:
- Invite others to worship and encourage your congregation to do the same.
- Always give an action step at the end of the sermon – and then ask about it the next week.
- Preach in sermon series and tell people what they can expect from week to week.
- Share devotions or encouragement on social media throughout the week.
- Preach with passion, don’t just read your sermons.
- Provide small group lessons for the next week based around the sermon.
- Lead people in worship, don’t just go through the order of worship.
- Pray for your congregation each day.
- Invite others to pray for the congregation and for the pastor.
- Connect the messages from week to week, especially in sermon series.
- Encourage and thank volunteers to create an environment where they love to serve.
This list is only a start. What else do you do to awaken the force, to stir up the passion and to anticipate God in worship?