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.