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 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).

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What kinds of distractions are you referring to? I just have to ask because I'm never confronted with this question.
Good question. I'm going to try and answer this by commenting on some of the comments below.
I asked the same question and was told to read the first page again. I did and I still am asking what "distraction" they are talking about. The first page only said they were reading about some. It never references what they are. Oh well........
It almost sounds like you're saying "Let's make our worship times as difficult as possible so that we can prove who the really spiritual ones are." The Bible teaches that we are to remove stumbling blocks, not toss more in.
dude, you got it. when Jesus wanted to focus, He got clean away from everything. with no distractions. so it makes sense to follow his lead. we as leaders need to try and make it an atmosphere that promotes worship, not recreating a daycare setting.
Hmmm - very good point.
Actually, you make a good point. However, Jesus got away from everything, sometimes. I don't think you can use Jesus' retreats from everything to justify distractions in corporate worship offerings. You could, however use Jesus' retreats to justify your own self going off by your self and worshiping. This is something that I believe several key Bible characters practiced.
actually you can justify it, because its the principle. even though youre surrounded by lots of people in church, the goal is to have as little distraction as possible so you can worship. its not only about your own time, its anytime you are focused on the Lord. limit the distractions as much as possible where ever you are. this falls on the person in charge (worship leader/pastor, while at church) because the congregation doesnt have control over the environment they are in.
Actually, this isn't what I'm saying at all. This would be the antithesis of pursuing excellence in our worship offering. The point that I'm trying to make is that by making whether or not something is a distraction the measure that we use to determine whether or not "it" gets used in our worship offering isn't quite on the mark with how we ought to measure what we do and don't do with our worship offering to God.

So, in the end, I'm not saying that we need to add distractions - but using "it is too distracting" as a measuring stick misses the mark. Measuring something by excellence I think is a more Biblical principle.
Can you give some examples of distractions in the context of this discussion? How about snicker's bars on the back of the head? Would that qualify? (Sorry, couldn't resist).
yea man, this vague thing about distractions doesnt make any sense.

Your ability to look past distractions and circumstances into the face of God is, I believe, one of the main symptoms of Christian maturity, something I myself am also striving for, and I also strongly agree that it is a discipline that all Believers should be building into their lives. I kind of like your thought of allowing (but not necessarily inviting) more distractions during worship, and am probably in the minority here on WTR in saying that "excellence" should be allowed to slide--genuine worship should always take precedence over excellent worship.

So I agree with the heart of your sentiment--I can't blame others for my distractedness during worship--but I can't go all the way there with you. The picture of corporate worship gatherings I get from I Corinthians 14 is one of orderliness and, backing up to I Cor. 10 for context, concern for others' consciences above my own. Like loving parents who selflessly give up their freedoms for the benefit of their children, mature Believers must be willing to sacrifice some of their freedoms to benefit those who are spiritual infants. The place for a mature Believer to worship with complete freedom may not be in corporate worship, but rather in a private setting.

I find that I struggle with distractedness most when I'm relying on corporate worship time as my only worship time. In contrast, when I've made time to freely and personally worship God throughout the week, I'm not nearly as intent on "getting the most" out of Sunday morning worship.

Grace and peace!


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