Ten Ways to Simplify Sundays


Being in church work, means that our Sundays are far from calm and relaxing. In fact, some Sundays are hectic and very stressful. I usually find myself running around on Sunday morning trying to take care of last minute details that some how slipped through the cracks. My husband and I have numerous responsibilities at church, and I often have a hard time balancing my responsibilities at church with my responsibilities to my family.

This is what I look like when I grumble. Not pretty.

I have to admit that this week, while I was getting ready for one of those particularly busy days, my heart was full of little grumblies. All I wanted was to have a simple Sunday filled with sincere worship. Wouldn't that be nice? Well it ain't gonna happen!

At least, not the way I want it too. You see, an effortless Sunday filled with restful peace and genuine worship just doesn't happen on its own. It doesn't matter if you're a new church member or the pastor's wife (or in my case the music director's wife!). Genuine worship isn't a matter of how calm and peaceful your Sunday morning ritual is. Worship is a heart issue, and it takes work to get our hearts in the right place to worship God.

That said, there are lots of things we can do to help minimize those Sunday distractions that all too often pull out attention away from worship.  Some of these things my family does well. Others we still need to work on. Hey, it's a process!

Ten Ways to Simplify Sundays 

1. Get Up! I know there is something oh-so-wonderful about those few extra minutes snuggled up under the covers, but those few extra minutes will make you late for church every time. The best way to avoid the rush, rush of getting ready for church is to give yourself plenty of time. I love starting my Sundays with upbeat worship music. Nothing knocks the sleepy out of your eyes like the Gaither Vocal Band (Don't judge. I usually let me husband pick the music...). So crank up the volume and get out of bed!

2. Start the Day with a Good Breakfast. There is nothing more distracting than a growling stomach halfway through the Sunday morning sermon. For many of us, Sunday lunch often comes quite a bit later than we are used to, so getting a good breakfast is essential to keeping those hunger pains at bay.  This doesn't mean breakfast has to be complicated, just filling and nutritious (can anyone say, Honey Nut Cheerios?)

3.  Plan ahead. Pick out the clothes you are going to wear on Saturday evening. I don't just mean look in your closet and make a tentative plan. I mean try on the outfit (or several) from head a toe and prance around your living room for a while making sure it's what you want to wear (maybe only I do this). Also, pack the diaper bag, write the tithe check, and gather materials for Sunday School. All of these things can be easily forgotten in the rush, rush of getting ready for church.

4. Shoot for Comfort, but Not Casual. I know each church is different, but I'm a big believer in dress clothes. I don't think it's right for us to put more time and effort into our wardrobe for a Saturday night on the town than we do for a Sunday morning worship service. That said, dress clothes don't have to be uncomfortable! Sacrificing comfort for the sake of fashion isn't the type of worship God is interested in.

5. Be modest. Let's face it, we all make poor clothing choices at times, and we often don't know it before it's too late. For instance, it wasn't until I was at church today that I realized my dress flapped every time the wind blew or that my split skirt showed a bit too much leg when I was sitting down. Let's just say I was much more concerned about keeping my legs covered than I was worshiping. Lesson learned! Making modest clothing choices can free our minds to think about God during worship rather than clothing malfunctions.

6. Examine Your Heart. Most of my time on Sunday mornings is spent making sure everyone around here is dressed and ready to go; however, sometimes I have to stop and remember that God doesn't look on the outward appearance. A beautifully dressed family doesn't bring as much glory to God as beautifully cultivated hearts. It's important that we take time to focus our hearts and minds on Jesus before we get caught up in the busyness of our day of worship.  

7. Keep Lunch Simple. I'll admit, I've been guilty of using the invitation time to make mental lunch plans rather than focusing on my response to the sermon. Keeping lunch plans simple ensures that we can focus on thoughts on God during the service. Where is it written that you can't have sandwiches and leftovers on Sunday?

8. Remember the Sabbath. We don't keep the strict rules of the Sabbath day like the Jews in the Old Testament, but I still think we can learn a thing or two from the practice. Around our house you will rarely find us working on Sunday afternoon. This means no laundry, no housework, and hopefully very little church work. I know for many of us (especially students) Sunday afternoon seems like the perfect time to catch up on homework or housework to get ready for Monday, but I think our time would be better spent resting, reading our Bibles, and enjoying our families! We all need down time and the Lord's day is a perfect time to stop and reflect on his blessings.

9. Simplify Responsibilities. One of the wonderful parts of being a member of a local church is the opportunity to serve others on Sunday. This may mean teaching Sunday school, singing in the choir, being a door greeter, or keeping nursery. However, some of us have a tendency to become over involved in these ministries. If you've tried simplifying your Sunday routine and you still feel too busy, maybe it's because you are actually too busy. It's important to prayerfully consider where God wants you to serve, and allow Him to use other people in those other areas.

10. Keep Your Eyes on Jesus. The wonderful thing about worship is that it's not contingent upon everything else going smoothly. So if you have a terrible, no-good start to the morning, never fear! God can still be praised. So what if you have absolutely no plans for lunch and the kids' hair looks like they just rolled out of bed! God can still be glorified. He knows exactly how rough your morning was, and His grace is sufficient for even the worst of days. Our goal is to worship him by giving him honor and praise regardless of our circumstances. Just remember to look past those imperfections and keep your eyes on Jesus.

What are your biggest Sunday distractions? How do you balance being active in church while raising children?

This post is linked up at Top Ten TuesdayModest MondaysBetter Mom Mondays, and Raising Arrows.


  1. These are wonderful ideas! It seems like we are always busy and always running. I am going to take note of these and try them!

  2. I totally needed this post. I also am a music minister's wife! Along with the other areas I serve in church I often feel overwhelmed with Sundays! I am going to try to do some of your suggestions...like #s 1,3,6, and 7! (By the way I have totally had the split skirt too much leg distracted the rest of the service problem! LOL!!! Funny how something seems so right standing and can be so wrong sitting! I now double check everything sitting down and leaning over before I wear it out of a store!!)

    1. I'm just lucky I had only a little leg in the middle to deal with this time. I've also worn skirts that rode up too much when I sat down. That means having to deal with too much leg showing on both sides, and since my Bible only covers one leg...what to do, what to do?!?

    2. I keep a silk scarf (square) in my purse. fits perfectly over my lap.

  3. Excellent advice! While we are not heavily involved in ministry at our church, we do travel over an hour to get to church, which means getting up on time (#1) very important. And then, since we have seven kids, planning ahead (#3)is absolutely essential. I do admit that keeping lunch simple (#7) is not too hard for me! ;-)



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