If you’ve been to many worship conferences or “talked shop” with worship leaders, pastors and ministers of music, sooner or later it comes up:
What do you think when people applaud at the end of a song, during a worship service? Do you encourage it, ignore it or correct it?
I found this Swindoll quote pretty balanced in response to your question (read the Swindoll article. It’s a good one)
I vote sometimes. It can be an expression of praise, I think.
Sometimes. Clapping is a culturally-appropriate way to express appreciation and enthusiasm. It does NOT always mean “the people on stage did a good job so I will applaud them.” When it means “I’m so excited about what we just sang that I need to express it audibly,” shouts and clapping are appropriate.
In the manner expressed by Laura, appropriate. Anything else, don’t like it. Not in a worship service, anyway.
I’m not down, but that is just me. If I find myself clapping after a worship song, I know I am saying good playing guys, my ears really liked the way that sounded. As a former pseudo-musician, I do not believe I could hear applause after playing and not think it was for me, not the subject of the song. But I don’t think those go for everyone, so I will not vote NEVER on applause, just not from me.
Generally when I give a hoop or clap or whatever the gesture may be, it definitely will usually be a form of praise to the Lord. The scripture tells us if we do not praise Him the rocks will cry out! It means I am fired up for the Lord!!!!
Considering all we applaud elsewhere in life I think it’s ok 2 give props in worship as long as it’s not a Disney slow clap. (this cracked me up. If you’re not familiar with the “slow clap” movie technique, get a 26-second primer here:
And here is a quick audio soundbyte from a Slow Clap that 200 Sojourn men performed at our 2010 Men’s Retreat this past weekend, for our pastors (following a Q&A on Biblical Manhood by the pastors):
Probably not cool at a worship service. Probably cool at a retreat that featured an obstacle course called the “Circle Of Pain” though.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with some of the comments above? Can you think of another perspective?