A young brother once took me to task for what was admittedly a questionable example (for growing church members, anyway¹).

I was in the habit of a) participating wholeheartedly during corporate worship time on Sunday mornings b) and then exiting to read or do something else during the sermon time, which was often either discouraging or blah for me.  My general pattern was to be in the group for the more important and/or more effective activities, and then to be somewhere else during the sermon, making better use of the time.

That was 16-18 years ago.  For the last year and a half, I have flip-flopped:  the spoken messages in TX and WY have largely been of more value to my soul than the poorly executed, often ill-conceived/embryonic, distraction-laden worship times.  So, I’ve decided to pull a switcheroo.  During the worship time, I’m going to study Greek or read or take a prayer walk or something; during the sermons, which are more nourishing for me right now, I’ll hang with the group.

I am pretty much left out in the cold with group worship, and I am tired of the weather patterns.  So, for a while, I am not going to erect a façade or put on a show.  I’m simply going to shelter my soul by not being involved in group worship.

On the flip side of group considerations, I re-discovered a magnetic, ceramic disk — a plaque-like object I’ve had for many years.  I have displayed it more prominently now, in order to remind me more often to worship in private.  The message on this little plaque?

I will praise the name of God with a song.


Another piece is also in my office, and I should look at it more, as well:

He put a new song in my mouth —
A song of praise to our God.


¹ Although I took Matt’s rebuke OK, I think — validating his thoughts — I’m ignoring the example factor here, because I’m only 64% convinced that mine was ultimately a bad example for growing disciples, as opposed to growing churchians.

2 thoughts on “Flip-flop

  1. godschildrenorg 12/06/2014 / 12:17 pm

    Hmmmm, are you the Lone Ranger? I hear what you are saying. Musicians are challenged by some congregations “worship periods.” If you are ever in the neighborhood, drop by Ovilla Church of Christ, south of DeSoto, TX, to sing with a group who sing harmoniously from the heart. I have to admit, the song leader last time I was there really knows how to lead and sing. That makes a difference. (I know when I’m having a good day — I “find” myself singing songs of praise and worship. I don’t plan it…it just comes out…and then I notice, and just keep singing song after song…until I am “filled up,” battery recharged.) ~~ Anne, on a gentle mountainslope in Transylvania


    • Brian Casey 12/06/2014 / 7:06 pm

      A. Anne, I’m caused to wonder whether, if we were in the same geographical location, I might just have a different take on group worship right now.

      It’s absolutely true that I’ve been becoming increasingly musically distracted during the last decade or two. (And, as an aside, I recall one female friend in the past who also had graduate music training but who was not — go figure — permitted to use her training and experience to help improve a sad little congregation’s music. I have no beef that way right now; in fact, the door is very open for me.

      I just find myself thinking that, whatever I would do, it wouldn’t matter beyond the reception of a couple of nice compliments.

      I’m near ranges of both the livestock and mountain kinds, and I feel pretty alone in several ways, so I guess I am the Lone Ranger. Or maybe Lone Arranger, because I still can’t keep myself from arranging new music once in a while. 🙂


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