5 Ways to Prepare For Online Worship

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by Mark Slaughter

Online worship continues to provide a way for many of us to stay connected to God and to our church; however, like most things in life, you get out of it what you put into it. So, I want to provide you with five ways to get the most from your online worship experience. These suggestions will deepen our connection to God and allow our hearts to genuinely be transformed.

  1. Prepare – Take a moment and prepare your hearts for worship by taking three deep breaths. This will send a message to your brain to calm down and relax. This breathing exercise can provide a necessary pause before worship begins. Also consider your body position. It will be helpful to sit in a comfortable position with your hands on your knees, palms up, ready to receive the Spirit’s presence.
  2. Create – Create a space sacred. Icons have always proved helpful to visually prepare us for worship and to make our setting feel sacred. You can continue this practice by simply lighting a candle or placing a cross near you. For many of us, the Bible is sacred, so have yours nearby. By taking a few moments before worship, we can all create a space that moves us from the ordinary to the sacred.
  3. Participate – Let’s really participate in worship. I know this seems obvious, but oftentimes we have the worship service playing in the background. What would it look like to fully engage by praying, singing, sharing communion, taking notes on the sermon, and utilizing your Bible to follow along? You may also want to consider new ways to make the online experience even more engaging and participatory.
  4. Respond – What is the Spirit saying or impressing upon you? We are always asking questions as a part of worship. Take some time and respond to the questions as a part of your online worship. Write a response in the comments or write down your response on a piece of paper. Be sure to include time for contemplation so you can consider how the Spirit is speaking. As worship concludes, take just a few moments to reflect on the message and offer a prayer in response.
  5. Connect – While we may be worshiping online, we still need meaningful ways of connecting in community. It is so important to connect with others to deepen relationships and move us from isolation to inclusion. Who can you connect with? What about joining a small group? Look for meaningful ways to engage with others for encouragement and community.

Online worship is a great opportunity for each one of us to grow in our faith and be strengthened for the journey ahead. Let’s consider the words from Hebrews 10:24-25:

24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

 

Dr. Mark Slaughter serves as the Worship Arts Director at Prince of Peace.

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