How we enter time with God, including corporate time with God, will greatly impact the potency and outcome of that time.
Psalm 100 and verse 4 says, "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name." (NIV)
But, do we do this?
Old time preachers, including prominent names like Smith Wigglesworth, believed that this passage was a command to be followed. In fact, they believed in this command so much, that there are stories of those preachers having entire audiences exit the main auditorium only to immediately turn back around and enter as the verse commands.
But what if this is more than a command?
In the business world, just about every function or action has a written out standard operating procedure (SOP) attached to it. The SOP empowers any employee to know exactly what to do to perform at the highest level for any given task. This is how businesses replicate processes across multiple employees, to best achieve the purpose and intended outcomes of the work. Inversely though, not following the SOP is almost an assured waste of time and money... and often leads to the purpose of the work not being achieved at all.
Have you ever walked away from a church service (or your personal time with God) and felt like the purpose of that time was not at all achieved? Is that your normal?
For many churches, this is in fact their normal - leaving the church lacking and anemic week after week.
The Bible is the SOP for life and Psalm 100:4 very much reads like the beginning of a spiritual SOP on how to best begin time with God.
What would happen in your church, your ministry, and in you, if you obeyed this simple verse?