As sincere as your heart is, sometimes paying attention through church is just plain hard. Here are a few helpful tips to help you fight distraction during worship.
Get Good Rest and Eat a Good Breakfast
This may sound silly, but the prep we do to start our day has a big effect on us and our focus. Don’t discount getting a good night’s sleep and a filling breakfast on Sunday morning! These combined things will boost your ability to concentrate. If you don’t get enough sleep or eat a good breakfast, your tiredness and hunger could cause you to be distracted. Set yourself up for success by getting proper rest and food.
Put Away Distractions
It can be very hard to be present with God when your phone keeps buzzing right beside you. Social media and texts have a way of sucking you in and distracting you even when you’re not actively using them. Your phone buzzes, and your mind immediately goes to your phone and who pinged you.
So, even before you get inside and sit down, take your phone and put it on silent (no buzzing texts) or “Do Not Disturb.” This will allow you to be fully present during worship service. Social media notifications, texts, and calls will be waiting for you when you’re done. It can be difficult, but you will get so much more out of church when your phone isn’t commanding your attention.
You may not be an audio learner, and that’s okay. But don’t feel like you need to sit through worship service fighting yourself to stay focused. Instead, help your mind focus by taking notes.
Note-taking can help reveal a structure that is hard to pick out by listening alone. Remember, you don’t need to distract yourself in a different way by trying to get the full transcript down. Just aim for the main points. Even if your notes seem like a jumble of thoughts, it will at least give you a record to help review the service and see what points resonate with your heart and mind.
Talk with Others
If you have kids, you might ask them what they learned during school or worship. If you do this every day, they know they are tasked with focusing, so they can share what they learn with you.
Take this idea and apply it to yourself. But instead of asking yourself what you learned, get together with others and talk about the service. Review the ideas, share your takeaways, ask honest questions, and compare perspectives. Have this chat with your family on the car ride home or by having a coffee outing with a friend on Monday mornings. This will not only help deepen your understanding but also help you stay focused during worship so you can actively participate in the conversation with your family or friends.
Listen for a Takeaway
If you’ve done some of the recommended tips above and are still getting distracted by the toddler crawling on the floor, the person coughing in the back row, and the fidgeter in front of you, first take a deep breath. Then, acknowledge that not all seasons of life allow for written notes and mental analysis.
During worship, try to listen and get one thing out of it. Yes – just one. If more in-depth listening techniques are overwhelming, it’s okay to give yourself grace. Even just getting one thing out of service is still rich food for the soul.
Got Distracted? Gently Refocus
Some days will be extra mentally tough to focus on what is being said during worship. Don’t be hard on yourself. To help you get back to focusing, try the balloon method.
During worship, you can be focusing, and then the thought of, “Oh, what should I make for dinner tonight?” pops into your head. You may get caught up in that thought, thinking through dinner ideas and what you’ll need to get at the store. Then, you may scold yourself for getting distracted. Instead, when that thought comes up, think of it as a balloon. Acknowledge the thought, then snip the string, let it float away, and refocus on what’s happening during service. With this method, you can gently refocus your mind and not get caught up in what’s going on in your head.
Come Visit Christ Lutheran Church
We hope these tips help you fight distractions and enjoy worship service more. If you’re wanting to attend a worship service near you, we’d love to have you visit Christ Lutheran Church in Montrose, Colorado. We teach the Bible as God’s unchanging Word. Jesus’ salvation is the focus. His love and care for us guide our prayer lives. We would love to have you plan a visit or connect with us. God bless you as you pray to Him and praise Him!