Dear worship leaders,
It’s not you, it’s me.
You did a great job asking the crowd to clap. You could not have been clearer in your instructions or desired outcome.
Your “call to palms” was perfect.
But I just can’t clap.
Even if friends make fun of me, like they did last weekend, I don’t budge. I was sitting next to Todd Smith. He’s in a band called “Selah,” and he’s won approximately 400 Dove Awards. We’re friends, and I mean really friends, not in that way everyone in Nashville claims to be friends with Michael W. Smith but never actually goes horseback riding with him like I will someday.
I clapped roughly 14 times and Todd leaned over in the middle of the song and said, “You can do it, Jon. You can make it all the way to the chorus!”
He was wrong. I didn’t. It’s not that I can’t clap. I just don’t think people are ready for my superior clapping ability. I don’t want to embarrass the drummer. I don’t want people to be so enthralled they stop singing and just watch my clap stylings. I do this old-timey clap sometimes that I call the “Mumford.” You have to know how to play a jug to even come close to understanding what I’m really doing. It’s very complicated.
But enough about my clap styles. (Don’t even get me started on the move I do called the “Tron.” Lot of lasers involved.)
The biggest thing I need to know is this:
Do worship leaders notice when I stop clapping?
Are you able to see me in the crowd refusing to clap along?
Probably not, because it’s dark. Unless you have some sort of worship leader sixth sense. Some sort of “I can only imagine” power that allows you to spot me in the crowd, arms not akimbo, standing there motionless.
Do you have that? Is that a thing?
And if you catch me not clapping, do you care? I think, probably not, because let’s be honest, most of the time you stop clapping in the middle of the song too. You start out with your hands over your head clapping enthusiastically, but by the middle of the song you’re playing a guitar, grabbing the microphone or playing a didgeridoo. (Had to google the spelling of that one.)
If I was a worship leader, I would probably notice people not clapping and then quickly judge them as loving the Lord slightly less than I do. Which is why they won’t let me be a worship leader. That, and they know people aren’t ready for this jelly.
Do you clap along during worship at church?