Church Etiquette

Preached by Chaplain Rick Brewer 9-18-13

1 Timothy 3:14 These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly [15] But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

1 Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

It is important to worship and to come to church, but it is also important how we worship and what we do at church. We are dealing with, for the first time in modern times, a generation of people through the age of 45 that have never stepped foot in a church before.  In this message I want to outline some things that you should and shouldn’t do.. Because some of the things we do in Church we do because we simply never have been taught differently.

1 Corinthians 7:35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.

One of the issues facing the modern church is the fact that people have gotten away from somber worship, and simply can not sit still. This is both for children and adults that have never grown up in church and understood that there is a need for being still and quiet in a church service. When we are disruptive in our movements or checking messages on our phone or drawing pictures or whispering; it creates a distraction for those that may very much need the message that’s being preached. To the end that a lost person made need the very message that’s being preached in that their eternity may be fixed on that one sermon. It would be a tragic thing that distraction kept a lost man from getting saved.

1.  The night before church.

Get things laid out the night before… so you are not rushed and aggravated in the morning.

Preparation is key to worship, oft times when we are not prepared we rush around on Sunday morning frustrating ourselves and our children to the point that it is not an enjoyable event to come to church. when we do get the church we sit in the pew and brude never really getting anything the message. Our children pick up on this as well and creates an environment of rebellion.

2 Timothy 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

2.  Pray before the service

Pray for your Pastor – He’s got a big job. one key point in worship is the belief or understanding that it’s all done by the pastor, the pastor is simply the one helping to orchestrate the worship. The participation of the congregation is not only necessary but a key portion of the worship service. The spirit in the church can be affected by the spirit of the people and felt by visitors. It is very important that we take the time to pray for our pastor and pray for the service that God is able to use the congregation in a way that will profit the body of Christ.

Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

3.  Come to worship (Leave the attitudes at home)

1 Thessalonians 5:19 Quench not the Spirit. [20] Despise not prophesyings.

James 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

Attitude in worship is everything. It affects how is church service starts, how people interact with one another and how the church service will end. When we come to worship and we bring with us our attitudes and prejudices they can vastly affect how the Holy Spirit will be able to work in that service.

4.  Sing – Fundamental part of worship

Psalms 100:2 – Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

Singing is a key part of worship, but it is also one of the most abused of our worship attributes. If we are singing from our hearts the hymns and songs of God we don’t need drums and guitars and instruments of the world to make it more exciting. Oft time worship leaders will seek to bring in the world’s music in order to bring a form of excitement, that is an imitation of worship. True worship through song is lifting up God’s Hymns, God’s Scripture and God’s people’s voices…to him. When we sing we should sing from our hearts to the Lord lifting up our voices high contributing praise. It should not be considered a chore or even something boring, is a key and necessary part to worship.

5.  Pray not play… one letter could mean eternity

I said that to say this, when we come to church we should be coming to church for one reason and that is to worship and celebrate our Lord Jesus Christ. While the church is not a building it should still not be mistreated to the fact that it becomes a jungle gym. I find it interesting that kids are taught from a very young age that they are to be still and quiet and whisper in a library but those same courtesies are not expected in a church service.

6.  Pay attention – Again.. People don’t know because they have not been taught..
The song book holder is not a foot rest… Electronic devices used by kids are a distraction for themselves and for those around them.. Parents need to be aware.
There is a difference between having folks in a worship service who have never learned how to sit still, and simply allowing it because we don’t want to take the time to teach them… Because what better place to learn.

Example: When Angelia was two and three years old we were taking her to church. We knew that it was a good age to start to teach a child how to sit still and when it was appropriate to play and when not. She was disciplined many times during a church service and sometimes parents would come up to me after the service with displeasure because I was doing so, but those same parents six months later were praising my daughter’s ability to sit still in church and being so young. The Bible says we are to train up a child in the way that they should go, that includes how you should act in church.

1 Corinthians 7:35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.

Who wants to see someone saved?

2 Corinthians 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

These little distractions are just what satan needs to keep someone who from getting saved…

More than likely a new person will sit in the back.. What will he see?

Are we representing Christ?

7.  Invitation – perhaps our most sacred time.

Pastor sometimes develop habits they may be from the way that they preach, a style or just little things that they like to do or say. I recall my pastor in Germany when he was time to preach he would take his watch off and lay it on the pulpit, and when it came time for the invitation he would always put his watch on. So when he would put his watch on all across the congregation you would hear Bible covers zipping up, velcro opening and shuffling around of papers… This created such a huge distraction to where even if someone was convicted and wanted to get saved there would be so much activity that they would quite frankly forget why they even wanted to get saved! We must refrain from anticipating the end of the service knowing that invitation is our most sacred time, and it is when people who were convicted as part of the message get things right with God.

Invitation is not the time to prepare to leave, it is the time you do business with God. – Distractions will keep others from doing so.

If we come to church prepared to leave… How did we worship God?

Is He the God of convenience?
Or the God of the Universe?

1 Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.