Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian Life: Public Worship

By Rev. Ryan Barnhill - Posted at Reformed Free Publishing Association:

"My purpose is not to elaborate on the principles and elements of worship; many fine articles, pamphlets, and sermons can be consulted for that. Rather, I will make only a few brief points that touch on worship as a spiritual discipline."

The final spiritual discipline of the Christian life we consider together is public, corporate worship. By public worship is meant the gathering of believers and their seed in church, on Sunday (or during the week for a special service), to meet with God and give him the honor due to his name. This worship is the meeting of God with his people in covenant fellowship, the purpose of which is to give glory to God for who he is and what he has done in Jesus Christ.

Sadly, the public worship of God in the church world has become largely optional. Attendance at worship services has dropped off. The elderly who come to church scan the auditorium with grief as they note the absence of the younger generations. Parents allow their teenagers to decide whether they will come to church consistently, if at all. Soon, those teenagers grow up, marry, raise families . . . and attendance at church for them and their families is not a priority; in fact, except for the occasional baptism or special service, their church attendance is non-existent. Furthermore, the livestreaming of worship services, although obviously not itself wrong, has made it easier to stay home; such technology becomes a crutch for those who stay home for illegitimate reasons.

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