Worship leaders work hard to be prepared to lead worship, but often we overlook the most important piece of the preparation.

Do you attend/lead your church’s corporate worship service “prepared?” I’m not talking about having all the musicians well rehearsed and the video cued up. I’m talking about your personal preparation for WORSHIP.

If we are not worshipping God personally on a daily basis, we cannot expect to truly worship God in our sectionalized 90-minutes-per-week corporate worship life. As I often say when I am training worship leaders, “You can’t truly worship God corporately until you are worshipping God daily.” Our ability to lead in corporate worship is extremely dependent on our personal walk with God.

It reminds me of a saying: 

You should come worshipping to church, not come to church to worship.

Thom Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources,  recently wrote about our preparedness for worship. Read it, soak it in, and share it.

This weekend I will attend my church’s worship service.
I will prepare for that corporate worship event;
I will not take the moments lightly.
I will see it as a precious time to gather with brothers and sisters in Christ.

I will prepare for worship.
I will ask God to prepare my own heart.
I will ask Him to help me hear God’s Word clearly.
I will ask Him to speak to me that I might be changed.

I will prepare for worship.
I pray that I will not be distracted by my own preferences:
By the style of music; the length of the sermon; the place where I sit;
Or anything that would cause me to focus on me instead of God.

I will prepare for worship.
I will pray for my pastor that the sermon will be anointed.
I will pray for strength for my pastor,
And for encouragement in a world that often offers little.

I will prepare for worship.
I will pray for other leaders in the church,
Leaders often unnoticed and unappreciated,
And specifically for those who sacrificially care for our children in the services.

I will prepare for worship.
I will pray that I will hear God’s voice in the music, in the prayers,
And in every moment we gather as a body of believers,
United in heart, focus, and purpose.

I will prepare for worship.
I will pray with my family before we leave to go the church service.
I will also pray alone for the services before we leave,
Even if it’s only for a few minutes.

I will prepare for worship,
As I see fellow believers enter to worship together,
I will pray for them and their families,
And I will pray for their own hearts of worship.

I will prepare for worship.
I understand I am blessed to be able to gather,
Because I know that many Christians around the world
Are being persecuted and banned from such times.

I will prepare for worship.
I pray I will understand that it is a foretaste of heaven,
And that I will never take such times for granted,
I pray I will truly rejoice in the house of the Lord.

I will prepare for worship.
Thank you, God, for your grace.
Thank you, God, for you goodness.
And for allowing me these precious moments to gather to worship You.


I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”

—Psalm 122:1 (HCSB)

This week, let’s make our times of personal worship and preparation a priority.
What are you doing to prepare spiritually each week for worship?
A portion of this article was originally published at ThomRainer.com on May 17, 2014Thom S. Rainer serves as president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam,  Art, and Jess; and seven grandchildren. Dr. Rainer can be found on Twitter @ThomRainer and at facebook.com/Thom.S.Rainer.