Public and Private Worship

“For many people, private worship is more attractive than public worship. Envisioning faith as a private affair reflects the individualism of our culture. Many ask why corporate worship should be so important when they can meditate on God in nature with far less distraction, or why they should bother to get dressed up and go to church when they can listen to an inspiring message on radio or TV.

“The reasons for gathering are many and important. Whether we are alone or with others, we need to experience our Christian life as rooted in the larger community of Faith. Even our most personal disciplines need to be supported, broadened, clarified, and sometimes corrected in the light of corporate theology and practice. Otherwise we become susceptible to privatized visions of spiritual truth. Moreover, we need the prayers of others as they need our prayers. The way God provides for our deepest hopes is usually through the hands and hearts of others.”

— Marjorie J. Thompson in Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life, p. 60.

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