Tuesday, October 31, 2006

State of the Onion - Clapping

OK, so things are different now... As I look back on past blog entries and think back on how I used to think and feel things just feel different, look different...ARE...different.

Different ME, same God.

I have come a long way and thank God for that. I have held on to his hand as he has guided me through landmines and fields full of sunflowers. Over the course of just a couple of years time (actually less) I have taken some gigantic steps in how I view a lot of things, I just want to talk about one of them today...actually just one part of one of them.

I love worshipping at our new Church, as I have mentioned before, I never look at my watch, I often get goosebumps, I usually walk out hoarse and I almost always feel better afterward than I did before. Some of the things I have had to "get used to" are (in no particular order):

  • A full band...actually much easier to do than I thought.
  • Crazy lights...still warming up to those, but no harm no foul.
  • Being distracted by people near my jumping up and down from excitement...that's one of those things that sometimes bothers me and sometimes does not.
  • Trying to figure out the fine line between "performance" and worship...it is a fine line and it's one of those things I'm still working on. It has a lot to do with the heart and since there is no "heart indicator light" on people it can be difficult to know where they are coming from (other times it's really easy - both ways).

However, there is one little thing...and let me make this clear, it is a little thing...that I don't think I'm going to get over for awhile...if ever.

The need people feel to "applaude" after every song. To me, it's almost like, "hey we did a great job with that song, let's give ourselves a hand!". The other thing I hear is "let's give God a hand!"

Let's deal with each of these one at a time, because, although I think they are closely related, they are not entirely the same. The thing where we interrupt a great worshipful moment by automatically applauding is just not doing it for me. I guess I just don't get it, if we go to great lengths to make sure everyone understands that our worship time is not "entertainment time" (although it CAN be fun!) why do we resort to clapping between each song as though it was performed beautifully? I mean we just got through telling God that he is an awesome God, that we love him, that he is everything to us and we said it through a beautiful song (the way he asked us to) and now we have to clap? I just don't get it. Can't the song just stand on it's own? For me, the clapping cheapens it.

The other thing about "let's give God a hand...", well I honestly, can't say there's anything wrong with that. It's just another way to praise God...it still feels a bit weird. I seems to me that newer Christians and visitors may not see the difference between the two since we seem to clap between all the songs, the part where the worship leader says "let's give God a hand..." gets lost in the shuffle. However, out of the two, this one has some "teeth"...

Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.
How awesome is the LORD Most High, the great King over all the earth!
Psalms 47:1,2

The thing that's hard for me is to stand there NOT clapping while everyone else does... That's MY problem...not theirs.

No comments:

"...Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:7-18