4 Feasts We Eat Every Week at Church

One Sunday Morning

I walked through the doors of our church with my kids running ahead of me, excited to find their daddy (who is the pastor). It might have been hard to get there that morning, but it was worth it. Simply the presence of other believers encouraged my weary heart. They believed church matters, which helped me believe it too. Within our many differences, we had the same destination on a Sunday morning. The same truth sustained us. The same Lord united us. We were hungry for him together. Once the kids were settled, I sat down next to my husband, and the worship service began. The noise of the world grew dim as the voices of the redeemed rose. God’s truth stilled our busy and scattered hearts, as his light dispelled our darkness and hope anchored us to the unseen.

The primary spiritual meal of our week was set before us, and we feasted. Through a sumptuous banquet for our hungry souls, God’s word nourished us. Together.

Help for the Hungry Soul

Kristen Wetherell

In Help for the Hungry Soul, author Kristen Wetherell offers 8 encouragements to spur an appetite for God’s word—the only thing that can truly satisfy a soul hungry for more.

Nourished Together

This is simply a snapshot of one church on one Sunday morning. Yours probably looks different than ours; but the unifying hope is that worship is our priority, with God’s word at the center of it, that we feast on Scripture together and are strengthened in the word of Christ for the week ahead.

The question worth asking at this point is, Am I committed to a local church that loves the word of Christ? No church is perfect. But if you are disconnected from church, or if your church is not consuming the Scriptures on Sunday mornings (or whenever you meet), you are missing out on the meal that matters most to your spiritual health and to the spiritual health of other believers. It is never too late to connect or make a change.1

That said, what exactly happens at our worship gatherings, as the primary spiritual meal of our week is set before us? Churches feast on God’s word during a worship service through at least four means: singing it, praying it, reading it, and hearing it preached.

1. Singing God’s Word

In a church service, singing songs to and about the Lord has become so normal for us that we often don’t consider why we’re doing it. If the “singing part” disappeared, would it really matter? According to Scripture, it would. Singing together is a gift, a deeply spiritual practice that God uses to nourish our souls with the truth of his word. It is also a biblical command: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Col. 3:16). Paul writes to the Colossian church, and he connects the indwelling of the “word of Christ” with “singing.”

When we sing the word, we are letting it nourish our souls.

In singing together about Christ and his many words, promises, and works—extolling what we see of him in the Bible— we are feasting on him and satisfying our hunger for him.2 We are encouraging our brothers and sisters, who need to hear the truth proclaimed through our voices, and they are encouraging us. We are memorizing great truths that will stay with us throughout the week (because songs are sticky!). And we are offering our collective praise to God, which brings him honor and magnifies him before the world.

We feast on God’s word through the gift of corporate singing.

2. Praying God’s Word

Another way we feast as a church family is through praying together and calling upon God according to his word. It’s easy to let our minds wander during the pastoral prayer (“Did I shut the garage door . . . ?”), but instead we stay engaged with it, praying along with our leaders in our hearts. We make their prayers our own, thankful that someone is giving voice to the congregation’s needs, confessions, and praises. This is a wonderful blessing!

One of the best ways we can enjoy Scripture is by letting it shape our prayers, both individually and corporately. My senior pastor encourages us to “always pray with an open Bible.” We have a treasure trove of prayers in Scripture that will direct our minds and hearts to God and his will. We don’t need to wonder if we are praying rightly if we’re praying straight from his word.

So, during your next worship service, receive corporate prayers as a gift and let them nourish your soul with the truth. You might even ask for a copy of the prayers, and then pray them throughout the week or use them as a guide for your own.

It is the Lord’s joy—and your pastor’s—to prepare a table before you so your soul is strengthened for the week ahead.

We feast on God’s word through the gift of corporate prayer.

3. Reading God’s Word

Scripture reading may be the most obvious way we enjoy God’s word, as the Bible is opened and read over us during corporate worship. Again, what a gift this is! We have the privilege of pausing our harried and full lives to receive Scripture in the company of other believers. We have a set-apart opportunity to breathe in God’s breathed-out words, to hear, and to believe.

Friend, I want to encourage you: this matters! Don’t label the Sunday morning Scripture reading as a mere routine. Each Sunday your soul is being washed with the cleansing, life-giving words of God. Receive with thanksgiving the congregational reading of Scripture. It is part of your primary spiritual meal that will nourish you throughout the week.

We feast on God’s word through the gift of corporate Scripture reading.

4. Hearing God’s Word Preached

Long before your bleary eyes open on a Sunday morning and you stand next to your church family to worship Jesus, your pastor has put on his “chef’s hat” to create a nourishing meal for you. He begins on his knees, prayerfully asking the Lord to give him the right and best ingredients. Then he diligently prepares over the next several days, studying Scripture, grasping its message, and communicating how that message applies to the church today.

He works hard for you, and the work is hard, but all along the way your pastor is tasting and seeing that the Lord is good (Ps. 34:8), being nourished by God in the process. It is the Lord’s joy—and your pastor’s—to prepare a table before you so your soul is strengthened for the week ahead (Ps. 23:5). This is what the sermon does.

So when you enter the sanctuary to worship God on a Sunday morning, a great and supernatural work has been happening behind the scenes. God is ready to serve you his word through your pastor. Be ready to receive a life-giving, carefully crafted meal—from God’s mouth, through your pastor’s mouth, straight to your soul.

This, too, matters. The preaching of God’s word is vital to our spiritual health. So, as we hear the sermon, we stay engaged. We may take notes to follow along, chewing on what the pastor is saying, asking questions, and pleading with the Spirit to teach us. Once again, we praise God for this gift—a nourishing meal to strengthen our souls in Christ—and we receive the sermon as God’s gracious words to a hungry and needy church family.

We feast on God’s word through the gift of preaching.

Feast on the Abundance of God’s House

The next time you feel discouraged and guilty about not reading your Bible the way you think you’re “supposed to,” do this instead: remember the previous Sunday at church, and breathe a sigh of relief and praise.

You have consumed God’s word. More than that, you have feasted on its abundance.

Through singing it, praying it, reading it, and hearing it preached alongside God’s gathered and beloved people, you have “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” Your soul has been truly nourished.

And over time, your appetite for God’s words will grow, and your hunger for him will be satisfied.


  1. If this is your situation, you might consider using the Gospel Coalition’s “Church Finder” to locate a solid, Bible-preaching church in your area: https://www.thegospel coalition.org/churches/.
  2. It is worth saying that not every worship song is biblical and focused primarily on worshiping God. Many modern worship songs are more about us than him! We will be nourished if the songs we sing together are rooted in God’s words, not ours.

This article is adapted from Help for the Hungry Soul: Eight Encouragements to Grow Your Appetite for God's Word by Kristen Wetherell.

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