“Everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way” 1 Corinthians 14:40
Have you ever wondered how you should behave in church? Consider these guidelines from God’s Word:
Put others first. In 1 Corinthians 9:19 Paul says, “Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.” First and foremost we should “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” Ephesians 5:21. “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant” Philippians 2:5-7. “Each of us should please his neighbour for his good, to build him up” Romans 15:2.
Act appropriately. What we do in church should be judged on the basis of a simple question, “Is my behaviour appropriate?” Let’s not forget that one man’s meat is another man’s poison. You may think your behaviour is appropriate, yet it could be a stumbling block for someone else. Don’t do anything that would cause a weaker brother or sister to fall. In 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 Paul says, “‘Everything is permissible’ – but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible’ – but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.”
Dress modestly. In 1 Timothy 2:9 one of the instructions on worship is for “women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety …” The clothes we wear shouldn’t distract or divert others from worshipping God. It should go without saying that some fashions that are accepted as normal in the world are questionable for a Christian. So use your discretion and dress appropriately. In addition, consider 1 Peter 5:5 when it says, “Young men … clothe yourselves with humility towards one another.”
Be polite. Love “is not rude” 1 Corinthians 13:5. Someone once said, “Manners are the happy ways of doing things.” You can make your church a happy place by being polite. Unless it’s an emergency you shouldn’t go in and out of the auditorium once the service is in progress. Coffee, tea, and other drinks should be consumed before or after the service, not while the service is in progress. Don’t distract others by talking during the time of worship or when the Pastor is proclaiming God’s Word.
Remember the occasion. When God’s people come together He is in the midst of them. No matter where we meet, when two or three are gathered together in His name, God is there by His Spirit. Coming to church isn’t like going to the cinema or to a ball game. It’s a special occasion – a time to meet with the King of kings. Reverence and holiness should be evident in all we say and do. When we’re in the presence of royalty, our behaviour should be markedly different to how we regularly behave. “Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his holy mountain, for the Lord our God is holy” Psalm 99:9.