The 30 minutes before church can be the most ungodly half-hour of the week. You scream at the kids because you’re running late. You tear out of the kitchen with the stove still on. You fight in the car about who left it on. You swear at the taxi while you cut him off. You screech into the church gate on two wheels. You steal a parking bay from an old lady you “didn’t see”. You get out of the car smiling through clenched teeth, King James under the arm, positively glowing with family holiness.

After the service you blister your throat to down your tea, and wheel spin to get out and get on to lunch at the mall. Sound familiar? Last Sunday, perhaps? Why is it so? Part of the answer is that for many of us church is not a way of life. It’s a two hour chore we jam in on a free Sunday when we can’t bear the guilt any longer. How do we break that cycle? How do we make church a way of life? Here are a few tips that will hopefully help to make a start.

1. Go to church.

Sorry to say it plainly, but if you want to make church a way of life, you need to go. You need to go regularly. Not only when there’s nothing else on. Not only when there isn’t a dance recital, a kids party, a mountain bike race, a training run, an extended lie-in, or emails to catch up on. As a rule of thumb (and not a formula for salvation) if you are not making three out of four Sundays, you are not regular. Church should be the rule, everything else the very rare exception. But that’s just re-stating the problem. We need get to the solution.

2. Pray before, pray after.

If you pray as a family, pray for church in the run up to Sunday. Ask God to prepare your hearts to hear Him speak, and to love and serve his people. That will signal to your family (and your own heart) a commitment to truly being there on Sunday. Praying after church can be as simple as saying grace: “Lord thank you for reminding us today that Jesus is King. And thank you for hamburgers. Amen.” If you don’t pray as a family, that’s a whole other blog.

3. Leave early, stay late.

If the service starts at 09.30 and finishes at 10.30, then church is from 09.15 to 11.00. That communicates to your family (and your own heart) that church is not so much about the place or the programme, as about the people.

4. Bring church home.

Sunday is the gathering of God’s family under his word. That means we need to work hard every other day of the week to make sure that Sunday is not the gathering of complete strangers who would rather be mowing the lawn. We need to work at being who we are – God’s family. Invite Christians over for mid-week meals. Have smaller mid-week gatherings under God’s word (we call them Life Groups) to encourage each other as a foretaste or aftertaste of the big gathering. Do it enough and your family will develop an appetite for it. It will go a long way to making Sunday church a part of your life.

5. Understand church.

If we want to make church a part of family life, we need some good reasons. The bible is full of them. God made us social beings. He made us as individuals for community. The fullest expression of that is the family of believers gathered around his Word. We are the body and bride of Christ. We are made to love each other, serve each other, carry each other’s burdens, worship together, and grow in the knowledge and love of God together. Hopefully that sounds appealing. Hopefully it sounds like something you want to organize your life around. But if it doesn’t…

6. Desire church.

All this amounts to rules made by men, if we don’t actually want to be with God’s people, under God’s word. We need God to change us at the level of desire so that we gladly choose church over its competitors. Not because we can squeeze it in this week, not because there’s nothing else on, but because we genuinely believe there is no better use of our time. That doesn’t mean you will float to church on a spiritual cloud every Sunday. Some Sundays will still look like the opening paragraph above. But those will be fewer and further between because, by an act of God and faithful repentance on your part, church will have become your family’s way of life.


Written by Roydon Frost. Original article can be found here.