Church worship distractions to avoid

When Americans flock to services across the nation on Sundays and for mid-week Bible studies, the fellowship wouldn’t be complete without the element of worship. Because the worshipping of God is so vital to Christians’ faith, eliminating the distractions that can inhibit one’s praise has been found to be of great importance.

Dr. Chuck Lawless, professor of evangelism and missions at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, has consulted churches for 15 years, compiling a list of ten distractions commonly encountered inside church sanctuaries across America concerning the music element of worship. After the first listing, Lawless gets more general, giving another ten distractions that take away from the worship experience, listing various components and practices that can divert believers’ attention away from God.

10 distractions from the music side of worship:

Here are Dr. Lawless’ findings, which point out the greatest distractions experienced during worship music at church.

1. Incomprehensible choir or praise team words – Worship was intended to be about communicating a message of praise to God, and when the words are obscured, it inhibits one’s fellowship with God.

2. Unsmiling faces leading worship – It is a privilege to come before God and worship Him. When a worship team’s countenance communicates something different, it detracts from leading the congregation in making a joyful sound unto the Lord.

“Some solemn hymns may not necessitate smiles, but something is lacking in singing about the joy of the Lord when the singer’s facial expression suggests something different,” insists Lawless, who also serves as the dean of graduate studies at SBTS. “We have seen entire praise teams show little expression as they lead worship.”

By Michael F. Haverluck – One News Now –

Pastor boasts “I crumpled the kid” with punch

Pastor Eric Dammann speaks in one sermon of a boy named Ben who was “a nice kid, but one of those — he was a real smart aleck. He was a bright kid, which didn’t help things — made him more dangerous.”

When Ben became too much of a “smart aleck” and asked too many questions about God, Dammann says he got violent with him.

“I punched him in the chest as hard as I — I crumpled the kid,” Dammann says, demonstrating his punch. “I leaned over and I said, ‘Ben, when are you going to stop playing games with God?’”

On Reddit Sunday, commenters responded with disgust to Dammann’s sermon.

“That will probably be a moment that this kid looks at as a turning point once he’s an atheist and looking back at his time in the church,” one commenter wrote, echoing many others who said the pastor’s version of Christianity seemed weak and based on fear.

“[H]e was definitely trying to brag about that,” another commenter wrote. “The way he mimics the punch, and the BAM! he emits. Trying to make sure the audience knows he’s a ‘big man’ […] Reminded me of some white trash bully at a school telling a bullying story to his friends.”

Some commenters questioned whether “Ben” was a real person or whether Dammann could have made the whole story up, while others made the case that if Ben is real, his parents should press criminal charges against Dammann.

By Zach Noble – The Blaze –

Pastor’s historic election day sermon at Montana’s Capitol

January 4th, 2015 Marked the 5th bi-annual Election Day Sermon held at the State House in Helena, MT. Pastor Matt Trewhella encouraged 40 to 50 of Montana’s incoming legislators to take their responsibility as lesser magistrates seriously. The Election Day Sermon has a long history on the North American Continent yet Montana is the only state in the union to hold an Election Day Sermon in the capitol building directed especially at elected officials today.

Matt Trewhella delivered a firm message to the legislators in attendance concerning their responsibility as lesser magistrates to protect their constituents from the tyranny of higher powers i.e. the Federal Government. It was made clear that all civil magistrates are “ministers of God” (Roms. 13:4), and that when a higher magistrate manifests a rejection of the authority of Jesus Christ it is up to the lesser magistrate to employ authority to first, bring the higher magistrate back under the authority of Jesus Christ, and that being unsuccessful, to protect the people in their jurisdiction from the tyranny which emotes from a rogue government.

The Election Day Sermon is hosted by Covenant Community Church (CCC) of Whitehall, MT. Steve Wagner, one the elders of CCC opened the meeting with a greeting and brief description of the vision of the organization for such an event. Host legislators, Senator Jennifer Fielder, Representative Alan Doane, and Representative Wendy McKamey then addressed a standing room only crowd under the dome of the Capitol.

Past Election Day Sermons in Helena have been building to the point addressed at today’s event. In 2006 Timothy Ewing opened the series by reminding all that this is a Christian nation. The next year Dr. Peter Marshall built on that theme explaining the covenantal nature of the American system of government. In 2010 Warren Mark Campbell introduced the concept that civil authority originates in God and His law. In 2012 Gordon Runyan drilled deeper into that concept to explain that all authority derives from Jesus Christ.

On the web site promoting the Helena, Montana Election Day Sermon and describing the vision of Project Liberty Tree, the sub ministry organizing the events, you are encouraged to start an Election Day Sermon in your own Capitol building, County Court House, or City Hall announcing that; “If you would like to begin this practice in your county or state, we will be pleased to share our knowledge and experience with you.”

What then is stopping Ohio, Akron, Canton, Summit or Stark Counties, or any other of the surrounding governmental jurisdictions from restoring this great American tradition? It is only the lack of someone with the vision to restore this great land to its former greatness, by restoring it to its former goodness, under the authority of Jesus Christ, who will take up the task to organize such an event for local lesser magistrates. It would be beautiful to see an Ohio Election Day Sermon promoted on the Project Liberty Tree web site in the next two years. Thank you Helena for your example.

By Randy Pope – Examiner –