Christine Jensen, the wife of Peter Jensen (the Archbishop of Sydney) has written her ten top tips for going to church. You’ll find them here.
She’s raised a young and large family so she knows what she’s talking about and she’s done the hard yards of putting it into practice. And she’s been married to the Minister so she knows what a difference each of these things makes to him.
Being on time is a real bugbear of mine. It’s so frustrating to get up at the start of church to a half empty building and then watch people arrive during the hymn, confession or kids’ slot! And there’s just so much to be done before church actually ‘starts’. There are people to see, conversations to be had, newcomers to be welcomed, stuff to be arranged and so on. If we breeze in on time or 10 minutes after the start of the meeting (as one of our families got into the habit of doing), it’s pretty poor form. The Perkins are hopeless at being places on time owing to the different way Rosslyn and I approach time (let the reader understand). We’ve worked out that if we aim to be at church at a certain time, that doesn’t work. We aim to leave the house at a certain time. And that does. If we leave at 10am we may well get there at 10.10am and that means that we get 20 minutes to be helpful and do ministry. If we have a last minute disaster (I spill toothpaste on my shirt, have forgotten to download the power point onto the computer or one of the kids is completely inappropriately dressed) we can still get there before the start, which is always helpful for the Minister!
Christine’s article isn’t long. It’s well worth a read. And it’s well worth having a discussion and a pray with your spouse. If every family had this attitude then a church would be transformed.