Kristen Gilles on clapping in church:
Have you ever given thought to why we clap our hands during or after we sing a song of praise in our gathered congregation? Have you ever wondered why some congregations are eager to clap their hands while others are reluctant during worship services?
I’ve thought much about this in the last few weeks and months, leading worship at my church. A recent conversation with Sojourn New Albany Worship Director Justin Shaffer encouraged me to ponder these things even more deeply. He and I were observing how at some service times, the congregation is exuberant and often claps their hands after we finish singing our praises and prayers to the Lord. And then there are other times when there’s hardly a peep of excitement after we just finished belting out our praises and acknowledgments of God’s extreme goodness and kindness to us in Christ.
It’s hard for us leaders not to attempt to measure our worth by the responsiveness of our congregation to each song. We should not be measuring “our” success as worship leaders in this way, but it’s a temptation every worship leader must confront. May the Lord help us keep our eyes fixed upon Him and our hearts fully in awe of HIS perfect success in making our praise beautiful and acceptable.