How can I prepare my congregation for next Sunday’s public gathering?

 Around the middle of the week, send out an email that gives them some Scriptures to be reading that will help prepare them to hear the Word preached on Sunday.  Nothing too overbearing.  Just give them some passages they can look up and read with their family.  You will be amazed at how much this helps your folks prepare to hear what will be preached and fully engage in the service.  Here is an example of a short and simple email I sent out a couple of weeks ago.

Church family,
Here are a few things that will help you prepare yourself and your family for our public gathering on Sunday…
1) Read 1 Samuel 11 (sermon text)
2)  Read the last 3 chapters of Judges (19-21) as it relates closely to 1 Samuel 11.
3)  Read 1 Corinthians 11 in preparation for the Lord’s Supper.
4)  Read Matthew 4 as it will be preached in the evening and also connects to the morning sermon.
I look forward to seeing you Sunday!
If you write a 1,000 word email with too much explanation that contains a portion of your sermon and five theological bullet points to ponder for it…you are missing the point.  Think clear, simple, and short.  Send an email that a 12 year old, 85 year old widow, and a seminary student will be able to clearly see and understand what they are to do to prepare. Start thinking today what kind of email (facebook, twitter, etc.) you will send out to your folks around mid-week that will likely enhance their daily devotional times and equip them to eagerly hear the Word this Sunday.  If you have elderly members who don’t own a computer, make sure at least the sermon text for next week is announced or placed in the bulletin somewhere (which we also do).   Whatever you do, don’t underestimate the value of shepherding your people in this way.  I have found with few exceptions, most all are grateful for the effort and come better prepared to receive what God has for his people when we gather.
Posted in Oversight of Souls
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