Below is a summarised excerpt from Crosswalk’s Stephen Altrogge when he wrote a recent blog entitled “Church Should Be A Place Of Undistracting Attention “.
Quote – “When it comes to doing church we can tend to gravitate toward one of two extremes. The first is the over the top, “everything must be awesome”. Worship should feel similar to a rock concert, except, of course, we’re singing to Jesus.
The other extreme is the “it’s all about the heart,” don’t try to manufacture God’s presence, extreme. The worship band sounds like a steel pipe being put through a wood chipper? It doesn’t matter. The sanctuary is dingy and cold? It doesn’t matter, because we try to attract people through the things that really matter, like preaching, and the gospel.
Neither one of these extremes is right. The Bible does speak of playing skillfully before the Lord, and of filling the sanctuary with beauty. But is also states very clearly that nothing truly good or spiritual can happen apart from the supernatuaral work of God. It doesn’t matter how awesome or awful the worship or preaching is, God must still do the work” Unquote.
John Piper once said that the category we have found most helpful is “undistracting excellence.” The adjective “undistracting” means that the quality of an act must help, rather than hinder, the spiritual aims of the ministry. Lead worshipers aim by the power of God’s Spirit (1 Peter 4:11) to awaken the mind’s attention and the heart’s affections to the truth and beauty of God and the gospel.
If our service to the Lord is sloppy, disorganized and late it will distract people from communing with God. If the worship team sounds like a walrus seal massacre, people will have trouble focusing their attention on God. If no one greets newcomers and they are left to wander about the church, they will feel uncomfortable and out of place. On the other hand, if everything is glitz, glamour, guitar solos, people will be distracted by that as well.
The Lord’s day on sundays is deemed as the “Chief Meeting of the Church”. John Reid gave this title to a booklet which outlines the various activities on a perculiar brethren church service on a Sunday.
Let’s cherish the undistracting excellence by also obeying the leading of the Spirit in the assembly on a Sunday worship. When the assembly is gathered together we are told, “..let all things be done for building up.. “(1 Cor 14). At the Lord ‘s Supper there is room for every brother to find his place and to contribute his part to the general edification, under the rule of the Spirit of God. If we are to individually prepare ourselves for a Sunday morning, coming in with a prepared heart to worship, having a restful Saturday evening and with an expecting undistracting attention, God in His mercy and grace, will leads us along a scriptural theme that runs through the entire meeting. The hymns sung, the thanksgiving uttered and the Word spoken follow the same theme. Effectively there is no meeting of Christians to equal it this side of heaven. In fact it is like a foretaste of the endless praise of heaven (Rev 5:7-14). Is this for real? Yes, certainly , as we occasionally hear of brothers and sisters who shared how they are blessed when we are able to give God the undistracting attention.
Elder Andrew Lim
Ref: Crosswalk, blog Stephen A.