Distractions during worship

Today I read a number of blogs that labored over things that happen during worship that might be distracting to the worshiper.

Worrying about whether or not our worship offering to God is distracting to somebody just seems silly.  What is the Biblical precedence for this kind of thinking?  I can’t think of anything – sure there are passages that warn us about doing things for our own gain – but that isn’t the same as worrying about being distracting.

When it comes to our worship offering we need to be concerned with excellence.  Not whether or not person A or B is going to be distracted by something that is going on during the service.  I have said this a thousand times: if somebody is distracted from giving God his due during our corporate worship offering, then the problem isn’t the thing that distracted him in the first place, the problem is the individual’s lack of discipline when it comes to worshiping God.

Back when I was learning to fly planes, I had an instructor who would jab me and throw things at me while I was working out particularly complicated problems.  He did this while we were on the ground, he would do this while we were in the air.  He would make me put on a hood and then make me put my head between my legs (as much as you can do in a little plane) then completely disorient the plane.  Then he would say “OK, fix it.  You have 10 seconds”.  So while I’m assessing and fixing, he would complicate things by hitting me in the head with the Snickers bar that he had in his pocket (this is probably why I don’t like Snickers anymore).

While it was annoying, and even angering, it really helped me learn to focus in tight situations.  Seems to me that if we want to make worshipers less distracted, the goal should be to allow more distractions during worship service (though, I’m not sure how to do this and accomplish excellence).


One Response to “Distractions during worship”

  1. Sterling Hanenkamp Says:

    For some reason, I’m reminded of the story of Eutychus, the boy who fell asleep during Paul’s sermon and fell out of the window and died and was then raised back to life by Paul hugging him. Talk about distraction. “Can we get back to what you were speaking about now Paul?”

    In all seriousness, I can largely agree with you. I’m especially annoyed at people who grumble about children in the service. Do we need to read you Matthew 19 again? It doesn’t get much clearer than that.

    On the other hand, as our pastor once wisely pointed out, being cute is more important than being wise in our culture. It’s better to kid than to be serious. If you are leaning over to your neighbor and trying to distract him by making cute jokes or mocking what’s going on rather than taking things seriously, you should be strung up by your ears and left as an example. That goes double for myself who am tempted to do such regularly.

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