Summary: Most people like bargains. Getting the most for the least amount invested. The same should be true of the time spent in our church services.

Most people like bargains. Getting the most for the least amount invested. The same should be true of the time spent in our church services. At the best, the actual time in church could not be over four hours a week, unless you are involved in the ministry of this church.

Often people tell me the reasons they have either quit coming or are not faithful to the church is:

1. They don’t get anything out of the service’s anymore.

2. The church has changed, too crowded, too big, or too small, not enough happening.

3. The church just does not need me anymore.

The average life of a faithful, active, dependable church member is very short. Approximately 3 years, and nearly everyone who quits lays the blame on someone else. A lot of the time they blame the Preacher.

1. It could be the preacher’s fault if: he did not preach the word.

2. It could be the church’s fault if: it did not maintain an attractive, spiritual working program.

3. It could even be your fault, but usually this is the last consideration.

4. Matthew 13:18-23; teaches that only one out of four will get any good out of our services.

a. Vs. 19; shuts out the word

b. Vs. 20; stony or shallow heart

c. Vs. 22; suffocates the word out of the heart

d. Vs. 23; surrendered heart, produces fruit

5. The emphasis is on the Soil, not the Seed, not the Sower.

a. If we are to get more out of our church services, it’s up to you.

b. Prepare the soil

6. Three things to consider this evening. What to do before coming to church? What to do while in church? And what to do after leaving church?

I. What to do Before Coming to Church

1. Prepare. James 1:21

2. Prepare your heart. You never rush into the presence of God.

a. Moses. Exodus 3:4-5

b. Isaiah. Isaiah 6:1-5

c. Peter. John 21:3-7

3. If we prepare our hearts, it must include the confessing and forsaking of sin.

a. 2 Corinthians 7:1

b. Colossians 3:8; inward sins also; 1 Peter 2:1

c. Acts 5:1-11; Ananias should have prepared himself.

4. The greatest hour of the day should be the time we are here at church.

a. Instead some come with the wrong attitude. I have to go, or the preacher will be mad. Wife will be mad. It will look bad. They will think I’m backslidden.

b. Check your attitude. My, what a privilege and a blessing it is to be able to be here in church.

II. What to do While in Church.

1. James 1:21; Ecclesiastes 5:1

2. Come with a learning and listening attitude. A teachable spirit, not a debating one. For example, “If that preacher says that one more time….” “If he talks about this or that….”

3. Matthew 18:20; keep in mind that Jesus is here. It’s His church (bride). It’s His work, and He knows what is best for us.

4. Luke 8:18; listen carefully, some people only hear what they want to hear.

a. Listen to all the doctrines.

b. Be careful about rejecting any part of God’s word. John 12:48

5. Receive the word with a personal application. “Lord is this for me?”

a. Too much pitchfork listening. This is good for my brother, good for my sister, if they had been here, they would have got it.

b. God knew who would be here, and who would not.

c. The bible tells me to take care of myself, never listen for another person.

III. What to do After You Leave Church

1. James 1:22-25

2. Respond to what you have heard. That is evidence of whether you have listened properly or not.

3. Doing brings assurance of salvation. 1 John 2:3-4

4. Christian happiness depends upon doing, serving. John 13:17

5. God promises to bless those that do. James 1:25

6. Gives us a word of warning to those who fail to hear and do. Matthew 7:24-28

7. Let me close by stating some commands I know God has spoken to each of us:

a. Witnessing. Acts 1:8

b. Regular church attendance. Hebrews 10:25

c. Giving tithes and offerings.

8. Remember these things.

a. It’s between you and God, it’s your responsibility to respond to what God has laid upon your heart.

b. God never changes his mind or recalls His commands.

c. He means what He says and says what he means.

9. How to get more out of the church service.

a. Prepare yourself

b. Come expecting

c. Listen to God’s word

d. Leave obeying what God has laid on your heart.

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