Private worship is an essential part of a healthy relationship with God, author and professor Donald Whitney said in a lecture series at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, as reported in a Nov. 11, 2003, Baptist Press story.

“How can once-a-week worship satisfy the hearts of those who know and long after God?” Whitney asked. “How in the world can anyone walk out of a worship service where God has been exalted and claim they have met with God and say, ‘Well, I don’t need any more of that for a week’?

“How can you meet with God and not be compelled to want to meet with Him more often than just what is convenient once a week?” Whitney, associate professor of spiritual formation at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., continued.

Ministers are especially prone to ignore personal worship as they settle into the daily routine of ministry, he noted.

Ignoring personal worship, however, will transform a minister into “the politicking and ladder-climbing and name-dropping and prideful, string-pulling sort of person who seems to take more delight in politics than preaching sermons or preparing for ministry,” Whitney said.

Statistically, only one of every 20 seminary graduates will remain in ministry through age 65, he said, attributing the attrition rate largely to a neglect of private worship. Without private worship, ministers “will burn out because there’s no drinking from the wells of living water,” Whitney said.

“In private worship, God reveals Himself through His Word, shining divine light on the divine book so we might find our minds instructed by God, our hearts encouraged by God, our hopes refreshed by God and our spiritual hungers satisfied by God,” he said. (Click here to read the complete story.)

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