Sing… clap… dance

impromptu question post… for my church friends 🙂

If you go to the church where I was raised and have spent most of my years, you’ll know that strong singing has always been a significant feature of our gatherings and our worship.  I’d say it has even gotten stronger and deeper in recent years as our minds have been renewed through good biblical teaching about worship.  But… and here’s my ‘throw it out there question’…

We sing…good.  We clap our hands…sometimes.  We raise our hands…rarely.  We shout… (mostly at sports events).  We dance…?

“grinding halt”,  warning lights and sirens are beginning to sound, “Danger Danger Will Robinson!!”

Just curious if and why our worship forms seem a little… hmmm, selective maybe?  (btw, not looking to stir up trouble here, but it may be that this illustrates how much our personal and corporate preferences can set our thinking and practices and not even be biblical or God-glorifying…because they’re rooted in our ‘self’.

I’m also not suggesting that my church should instruct everyone to get up and dance.  There are not enough ambulances in the surrounding areas to handle all the heart attack and stroke victims that might result.  🙂

Its just an impromptu question to point me/us to consider how much ‘self’ shows up in our ‘daily christian living’.

If you feel a need to blame someone, let’s blame Jeremy Riddle.  He provoked this thought in my mind today. 😉

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7 Responses to Sing… clap… dance

  1. Great questions! Sure to provoke some freaking out! 🙂 Although an assembly of worshipping believers should do all things decently and in order to avoid selfishness and encourage obedience to the Spirit, I see nothing in Scripture that inhibits the free expression of celebrating the sovereign God. (wow…that was a long sentence…) I like to sing forcefully and tend to weep

    • and you’ll never see me dancing because that’s just not in me to do so. However, there is one woman in our congregation who likes to move a little bit when she gets excited about Jesus. In the middle we have folks who range from stoic to exuberant in their worship. I think it’s interesting to observe the wide variety of personal responses…from kneeling, to arms flung high, to reverent silence…as each person responds and reacts to the presence of God.

  2. cjbooth85 says:

    When I was a kid, my family went to a pretty stoic Presbyterian church. Certainly no hand-clapping…even at the ‘casual’ evening service. I remember seeing someone raise their hands (both at once!) and I felt a little afraid: “Mom, what’s that lady Doing? Is she ok?” My mom’s reply was that some people have a more ‘expressive’ kind of worship that we don’t really ‘do’ here. I guess that was enough for me at the time…I wonder if the lady would have been spoken to by an elder if she’d brought her tambourine!

  3. cjbooth85 says:

    One thing I’ve been wondering about lately is if, perhaps, certain personality types (introvert/extrovert, etc.) gravitate toward certain worship styles. Particularly extroverts being drawn to a more charismatic worship ‘experience.’ What do you think about my little theory?

  4. TimWitten says:

    Chris… I’m thinking, ‘definitely’. I have a brother (by blood) who is so much like my dad (reformed church upbringing) and he has certain boundaries in this respect, then there’s me… do we dare open that can of worms? 😉 I think I’m an introvert, mostly, but, I can get pretty jazzed up in worship… apart from certain surroundings. Some might say this is inconsistent… I’m not sure. My lovely wife is quite the extrovert and leader, yet she is responsive to the context of the worship service she finds herself in… though, she doesn’t carry specific ‘baggage’ from a certain religious upbringing.
    I guess I’m being confronted with my own expectations and hindrances as to how I might express my gratitude to God in the corporate setting.

  5. cjbooth85 says:

    I really resonate with your words, “hindrances,” “express” and “corporate.” That is, being a profound introvert (100% on the Myers Briggs test) I usually feel like if I express myself in corporate worship, I feel hindered by the fact that others will see me. Though I feel ok clapping as long as others nearby are clapping too. But I feel very self-conscious about hand-raising and whatnot. Oh, how I wish the feeling would go away and I could just connect with God “uninhibited!” Argh! Extroverts, it seems to me, have it easier in corporate worship settings. Maybe I’ll join a contemplative order of monks 🙂

  6. TimWitten says:

    Haahaha… well, if you do, send me the address. Ok? I rather enjoy contemplation.. 🙂

    Blaine, thanks for your honesty here. I am apt to weep, but in the corporate setting, this would often confuse some rather than enjoin them in worship and prayer; and thank you for humbly offering instruction here. I know both you and Chris have musical and worship backgrounds and I appreciate hearing from you both. Your love for young folks is evident, and I and thankful that God is teaching the younger generation through your lives. Blessed be the name of the LORD.

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