Sunday morning and you’re at church. The band goes up on stage and you stand up and get into position. The song starts. You know this one. You’ve got this one down.
You start clapping right on cue, two and four. Someone across the sanctuary is clapping on the one and three, but that doesn’t get you off track.
First verse. You know the words by heart and everyone knows it because you keep singing when you close your eyes on line three. You sing loud so that the guy next to you knows that you love Jesus.
The music starts to build. Here comes the chorus. The music drops. You roll your eyes at whoever kept clapping during the pause.
The chorus starts. The drums bang. The guitar rocks. The keys are right on cue. Your hands are in the air and your voice is perfectly matching the singer on stage.
You are the best worshiper in the room and everybody knows it.
But let me ask you a question. At what point were you actually worshiping? When you were clapping on time? When you closed your eyes? When you lifted your hands?
It seems like I see a lot of people lifting their hands at the same time during the worship songs. Apparently best time to raise your hands to worship God is the chorus. The bridge too, if it’s especially intense.
I’m going to say something a little crazy here. Your worship probably means more to God if you don’t lift your hands during the chorus. Not because He doesn’t like the chorus, but because you’re probably only lifting them then because of the music or the people around you are doing it.
If you start to think about what it is that the chorus says, maybe it’s not always the best time to be closing our eyes and lifting our hands. Seems like there’s a lot of songs we sing at church that talk a lot more about us than they do about God. Why would you think that singing about yourself is worshiping God?
A lot of churches do a good job picking the songs they play and they make sure to pick good songs that are actually worshiping God. But what I’m trying to say is not every song is as worshipy as you might think. And not every chorus is a good time to raise your hands.
Start to listen to what you are singing. Think about the words. Are they talking about God and how great He is, or are they just talking about you? Because it seems sort of dumb to me to be lifting your hands and getting all intense with your worship when all you’re singing about is yourself. Save that for when you are actually singing to God or about God.
I’m really not trying to convince anyone that they shouldn’t be lifting their hands during worship. I’m just trying to say that you should think about what the song says and not just lift your hands because the music builds or because everyone else is doing it.
Worship is important. It shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s not about the music or the people around you, it’s about telling God how wonderful He is and pouring yourself out for His glory.