Applause Between Songs: What Are You Thinking?
How common it is in most Evangelical churches for the congregation to clap their hands during the time of "praise and worship." And how often have I seen in the churches to which my family attended growing up (and even many of the churches which I've attended as an adult) the congregation clapping in between the songs. As the congregation is led from one song into another, sometimes there's a gap in time, a gap that is filled with clapping, i.e., applause.
And what's that applause for? It's not for the worship team, or singers, or choir is it? Is it applause to God for His goodness and Gospel? How many who clap during this time of transition between songs really give it any thought whatsoever as to why they're applauding/clapping?? Not many if any, I'd presume. I dare say that most just do it because that what they've always done, or because everyone else is clapping too.
I remember a chapel service while attending Oral Roberts University, when the late Ed Cole (author of Maximized Manhood) was our guest speaker. It was during our opening time of singing that, as usual, the students applauded between each song that was sung. But after the 2nd or 3rd time this happened, Mr. Cole stepped forward and stopped us. I wish I could remember exactly what he said, but he basically told us to stop it - to stop always clapping and applauding after each song by default, without thinking. His admonition was that such conduct was really rather lazy - rather than worshiping Him in spirit and in truth, with our heart, soul and mind, we just fill this time with mindless, uninformed clapping. He challenged the student body to think and not just react. To think and not just do what we've always done - always done without question or thought.
So, why do we do it - why do we so often automatically clap or applaud between songs during our church services? Should we do it? And if so, for what purpose - to what end?
And if you so applaud, why do you? What are you thinking while you're applauding, or what are you intending by your applause? Have you given it any thought from a scriptural standpoint?
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.
(Ok, you may clap now.)