How to not sing with your hands raised and still love Jesus.

There are two things I don’t prefer to do with my hands at church.

I know you’re probably thinking that “throat chop” is one of them, but that’s not really in my control. If I run into a cat burglar stealing the offering, I can’t tell a killer whale not to be a killer whale. Nature tends to run its course.

And it’s not that I don’t like shaking hands with people. Our church doesn’t do the “turn to say hi to the person next to you,” but if they did, I would be pretty amazing at it. My greatest skill in those kind of moments is trying to shake someone’s hand who is trying to hug me. I am so awesome at that.

No, what I don’t particularly like doing at church is clapping my hands and raising them during worship.

I don’t judge people who do. (Except if you brought your own tambourine.)

I am glad you like to clap and happy you feel called to sing with your hands raised. I don’t and for years have felt what doctors call “lazy hand shame.” Have you ever felt that too? It’s the feeling you get when you find yourself sitting in a flock of hand raisers or aggressive clappers. You look at your dumb mitts and think, “Why do you hate Jesus so much?” But deep down you know you don’t have faithless digits. You know your hands are full of hope, but they don’t want to get down like everyone else.

For years, I suffered in silence, alone in my own Creed like prison. But no longer.

I have the solution my hand challenged friend. I have the cure to all your appendage woes. And it is so simple. Ready?

A coffee cup.

That’s it. That’s all you have to do. Next Sunday, bring a cup of coffee into church. You can’t clap with coffee in your hand, that’d be crazy! You can’t raise your hands when God is roaring like a lion, or raining down love like water or doing whatever like fire or something, it’s pretty early and I’m kind of tired.

I would love to, but look at my hand! It’s full of hot liquid that I would prefer not to spill on you or God’s carpet.

And if you attend a church that doesn’t allow coffee, all the better. People will be so offended that you are breaking the rules they won’t even notice you are not clapping. Win to the win.

So grab a cup. Kick lazy hand shame to the curb.

You’re welcome.

Do you sing with your hands raised?

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  1. says

    No, never have. Unless it’s part of a choreographed song, then, as a teacher, I’m semi-obligated to demonstrate and be an example.

    In my church, one person in fifty is a hand-raiser, and usually just a single, half mast raise at that. They usually have their eyes closed, too, so maybe they don’t realize they are in such a small minority.

    Clapping is far more acceptable.

  2. Danielle says

    Hi Jon. Great post. You have a sentence structure problem here:

    My greatest skill in those kind of moments is trying to shake someone’s hand is trying to hug me. I am so awesome at that.

    I think you need “who” between hand and is.

  3. Michael says

    This is a very good read, it just made my morning. As someone who does raise their hands during worship (and various points during the service) I can understand and empathize with the “lazy hand syndrome” that we all get infected with during church at times. A coffee cup seems like a great solution and a more socially acceptable practice than holding your smartphone.

  4. Kim says

    An unexpected benefit of being in the choir is that I have to hold my music, and therefor my hands are occupied. Problem solved.

    • Rikki says

      I was going to mention years of choir training where we weren’t allowed to raise our hands during things like Christmas and Easter cantatas, which had to be memorized, so no music holding, but no hand raising either. School choir, church choir, all the same, when you are performing, no hand raising unless it is “choreographed.” And you get to hold your music during corporate singing. So many years of training have caused me to not raise my hands, even after more than 10 years attending churches without choirs.

      • says

        Oh….my….goodness……I had never put those two thoughts together before! YES! A thousand times, YES!!!!! I’ve been in choirs since I could walk (so pushing 40 years), but hand raising in church has only been a “thing” in my denomination for maybe the last 15 years. I feel so free now! No more guilt! I’ve just been in choir too much for hand raising to feel anything other than wrong!

        Someone pass me my mug of tea (not a coffee drinker)! Never again will I feel like I’m not in-tune with the Spirit! I’m just a choral singer!

  5. Mike Toon says

    I agree that some people should NOT clap their hands during worship. I have a good friend who, single-handedly, threw off the entire crowd of 13,000 attending Catalyst a couple of years ago, by trying to clap. It was amazing and I believe even Jesus was shaking his head at this “clap fail!”

    • says

      my husband always gets annoyed when the congregation is clapping off beat and will actually clap correctly, even though it makes him look like he’s the one who’s rhythmically challenged… it’s embarrassing and I elbow him to please just NOT clap.

    • KO says

      “I have a good friend who, single-handedly, threw off the entire crowd of 13,000…”

      I don’t think people are fully appreciating what a remarkable feat this must have been. I assume the friend is rhythmically challenged, but I’m trying to imagine how a single-handed person could clap forcefully enough to lead the masses astray. I’m picturing repeated face palms and getting a headache just thinking about it.

  6. Sharon says

    I used to attend a Methodist church where if you raised your hand, someone would think you had a question. Now I attend a hand raising church that meets in a movie theater. I like the coffee idea, but my church has cup holders, so it wouldn’t work.

  7. says

    I went from a Southern Baptist church where people could literally get offended if you raised your hands to a charismatic church where they shot up almost the instant a song began. For me, awkward either way.

  8. says

    I do both of the above mentioned with my hands in worship. BUT my feet feel the same way whenever we sing songs that say things like “I will dance” – ummm, no we’d rather not. Do you have a good answer for that one? lol.

    • Stacey says

      Yes, Alice. Unfortunately it involves things like ingrown toenails or leg braces.
      Another solution that works if you’re always near the same people is to just go ahead and dance. Horridly. Once. They’ll be relieved when you refrain the next time. “Oh, she can’t dance. Bless her heart.”

    • says

      there are also those pesky songs that say things like “lift my hands and spin around”… like really? I don’t want to be a hypocritical singer, but seriously, who is writing these things.

      • Susanna says

        I think it’s Charlie Hall, David Crowder and Chris Tomlin. How DARE they try to be like David without actually doing what they sing. Rude.

        • Karen says

          But David did it naked. I don’t think that would go over well in any church, except maybe the Church of the Sunnydale Nudist Camp; and even then, there are some to whom one would want to do the Shem and Japheth thing with a very big blanket.

  9. says

    One of the nice things about being an iconoclast is that you don’t have to worry about surreptitiously looking around to make sure you’re doing the same thing everyone else is doing.

  10. says

    I am a hand raiser and clapper. I do not riase my hands every song, nor do I raise them only for the same songs…

    My only beef with hand-raising is that some are just “Key Change Raisers.” Not sure if they are rising their hands to worship God, or the awesome tempo change and amplified intensity.

    I am not a judge. Or a jury. Or an ombudsman, even.

    Do what you want.

    • Brandy says

      Wow! Just realized I am definitely an amplified intensity hand raiser. I totally thought that was God! Well played drummer. Well played…

  11. says

    Awesome! I had that idea years ago, probably when I observed my dad in church. It seemed to make perfect sense.

    My problem is that we meet in the area high school and they have asked us not have ANY drinks in the auditorium. Since I am in leadership, I feel a certain [flexible] obligation to set an example.

    I have a solution for all those in the same predicament… SERVE on a ministry team! I lead production and get to wear a cool secret service earpiece. I don’t have to raise my hands and no one will think anything because I have my official earpiece! …Then I can retreat back to the control room and double fist my coffee.

  12. says

    I attend a Presbyterian church where about 1 in 20 raise their hands during our praise songs. I can’t NOT raise my hands. That is, I feel completely overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit and lift my hands to praise our amazing God. And I literally can’t help it. My eyes are closed and I feel in complete awe of His glory. I sit in the very front pew, so I’m not sure sometimes if I’m the only one feeling it, but I’m not there to please man.

  13. Vicky says

    I put my hands on the chair in front of me, kind of leaning on it. It makes it look like I”m so moved that I could possibly faint if I didn’t have the extra support.

  14. VanEngine says

    “It’s always a good idea to always carry two sacks of something when you walk around. That way, if anybody says, “Hey, can you give me a hand?,” you can say, “Sorry, got these sacks.”

    ~ Jack Handey

  15. Ann G says

    I’m clapping challenged. I cannot keep my hands going on the beat so prefer not to have to clap. Being clapping challenged is almost as bad as having a tambourine and not keeping the beat. Almost.

  16. Ariana says

    I lift my hands during worship! Everyone worships in their own way. :) and you never know what that person has been through and overcome to get to that point of lifting their hands in surrender and praising God.

    • says

      Or crying through the song, which I am more likely to do and which tends to make people even more uncomfortable. :-)

      Posture means different things to different people. Hands down can be as much a posture of helplessness & surrender as hands up. I have problems with being anxious, so standing with my arms at my sides is about resting and letting go.

  17. says

    All those years of voice lessons taught me that the best (and most comfortable) way to sing is with hands either at your side, or clasped in front of you. Thumbs hooked in your belt loops works too. After all these years it’s just instinct. So if I’m not raising my hands, it’s okay: I’m just so into the music that instinct took over. :-)

  18. Rae Bates says

    I do, but my husband doesn’t. When we were looking for a church it was difficult to find one where we both felt comfortable expressing ourselves in worship in the way we are most comfortable.

  19. Brad says

    I hold my Bible to my chest in a “I love Jesus more than you hand-raisers… Notice I’m hugging my Bible” stance.

  20. Mgamble says

    I’ve always said I suffer from “clapper’s fatigue”. I think it is akin to “lazy hand syndrome”…except that sometimes I try to clap, but it is just…so…hard, and I quit. I don’t suffer just at church, it also happens at basketball games where fans stand and clap until their team scores.

  21. Sandy says

    Raising hands is biblical, especially in the context of worship. Raising hands/clapping is clearly out of your comfort zone, but I’m sure you step out of being comfortable in other areas of your life, why not in worship to ONE who is worthy of it?

    Or you can just justify yourself, write about what your excuses are, and make yourself feel better pointing out that you are not the only one who feels/acts the same way.

      • Sandy says

        Ha! My comment was pretty religious. I must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed today because later on I re-read the post and it was funny and it did not offend me like when I first read it before my first comment…

        The last thing I want to be is religious so I apologize for judging, getting offended, and writing rude comments.

        To me this was a personal challenge/conviction specifically to get out of my comfort zone during worship, whether I raise my hands or refrain, so as to not draw attention to myself during worship.

        I don’t think that if you raise your hands you are more spiritual and if you don’t raise your hands I don’t think you are less spiritual or are doing it the “wrong” way. I also don’t think raising your hands is a law or command, but saying it’s “biblical” makes it sound like that. My bad! :P

        Also, I hope that during worship I keep my heart on Jesus and not on people by getting distracted looking at who is worshiping and who is not or how they do it, and if they’re holding a cup of coffee, etc., etc.! :) When you worship, worship! Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart. :)

    • lee says

      OK, but please don’t say this to a man while at church, you know, you being a woman and all. It’s simply not biblical. Or maybe you’ll justify it and make excuses to make yourself feel better.

  22. says

    I just brought a coffee cup to church this past Sunday. I was raised Methodist and we quietly sung hymns, so this rock-band hands-raised-the-whole-time thing is very new to me. I think I need to do more strength training before I have that kind of stamina.

  23. says

    Yep. I am a hand raiser. I can’t help it. Hope floats and hands rise. I think this is a personal thing, but I do not understand why some would think it “unacceptable” or “weird”? If you went to a concert and the music was good and you wanted to let the band know your appreciation, you would clap and even raise your hands. I dare say that some of you may give a heartily felt fist pump or two at the same concert. So for me, it is natural to do similarly for the One who holds all things in concert.

    I think of corporate worship as slightly acceptable PDA between me and God. Some people won’t like my public display of affection, but it is what it is. Just be thankful you don’t see the more intimate moments of worship that happen in private.

    Yep — I went there.

    • Karen says

      I was invited to my boss’ kids Bar and Bat Mitzvah. During the service, the congregation both clapped and raised hands.

  24. Kathleen says

    I don’t personally raise my hands, but I attend a church that does. I sing on the praise team at said church…possibly my favorite thing to watch is when a song specifically designates a point at which you should raise your hands.

    For example: “Waiting here for you, with our hands, lifted high in praise.”

    Most in our crowd respond only to those lines…so hands go up at “hands lifted high” then slowly start trickling back down at the words “in praise” then the line comes again…hands go up! Then hands go back down….seriously looks like a workout. It’s hilarious to watch from the stage because I’m sure the crowd doesn’t notice they are all doing it at the same time!

    • Jamie @ Love Bakes Good Cakes says

      I would probably laugh out loud for real!! I’m not a hand-raiser either, but to each their own! :)

    • Kerri says

      I’m on worship team and have noticed the same thing!! I purposely refuse to put my hand up on a line that says to. It’s my own little internal rebellion. “The Holy Spirit is the only one that gets to tell me to raise my hands. Not you, Mr. Tomlin!” :)

  25. Dave says

    Love it!
    Made me laugh out loud in the tire store!

    As one who both raises hands at times and claps also, the one thing I try to do is simply reply to how the Spirit’s moving me…not judging others, and hopefully not being thought of as too strange by others.

    I’m sure The Lord welcomes real, heartfelt worship, no matter what the hand position ( with a possible exception of the tambourine lady)!

  26. Anonymous says

    Anonymous because I’m tapping out of a heated debate with my church who have decided to wrangle the hand-raisers to sit in the front of the church to lead worship like the Levites. Its Pharisaical. Stuff your hands in your pockets, raise em, clasp em, shake your tambourine, or dance as the Holy Spirit leads. It’s all good and all an expression of worship … no matter where you sit in church.

    • Betty says

      Lol this makes me think of how irritated I was when I realized they swing the camera (during our televised service) in the direction of hand raisers…I seriously stopped sitting downstairs because it drives me bananas.

  27. Julie says

    I was once tricked into raising my hand for a song. Before the singer started he said ” everyone who believes Jesus is their lord and savior raise you hand. Now, lets keep those hands raised as we sing this song” Uggg. I kept it raised until I couldn’t stand the uncomfortableness of it all and then put it down.

  28. says

    I have a crowd issue and often define myself as ‘socially awkward.’ I do however enjoy sincere worship. To my surprise , I find myself raising my hands and on occasion have been know to shout, but the clapping thing … NO. There is no rhythm in this girl!

    Also I love what you did at the end – “A church that doesn’t allow coffee. All the better.” That is blogging material in itself.

    Jon you have a style all your own. Love it!

  29. says

    I grew up in a church that gauged how much you loved Jesus by how long you could keep your hands raised. If your arms weren’t burning, then you obviously didn’t love Jesus and needed to repent of some sort of pride or sin or something. Of course, it was unspoken, but you felt the pressure.

    And don’t get me started on crying. You better squeeze out tears or your heart was probably cold, callous and far away from Jesus.

    Thank you for calling it what it is. Religion.

  30. says

    I call the hand raise in worship the “Excuse me, I have a question” worship stance or, the “Now I gots two questions” stance (if both hands are raised.) Since I usually do not have any questions during the worship time, being the long-time pro worshiper, I try to hold my questions until the Q&A time later–which usually ends up being in the ride home with my family. But, I have also been doing the Coffee Cup Cuddle in worship for years and it works miraculously for those of us who are uplifted-hand challenged.

    I would add for the C3 beginner, it works best when you take a sip whenever someone starts looking at you with that, “You don’t love Jesus like I do, looser” look which is often followed by the “but now I’m going to smile to let you know Jesus loves you–way more than I do.” An added bonus is that you can give the worship leader, or band member, you make eye contact with a raised glass “cheers” as you worship to say “Great job on leading us to the throne of the Almighty God this morning.” It works especially well with the musicians who look like they just came directly from the bar they were playing in last night and usually will give you the slight acknowledgment head-pop and smile…

  31. Jared says

    I raise my hands like Moses and judge everyone who can’t do it as long as me. Then I’m all like, ‘just find a Joshua, bro’

  32. Stephanie says

    I view hand raising as an outward expression of the indwelling Spirit. I sing on worship teams and am NOT a hand raiser. The Spirit doesn’t move me to do so. I’ve been in churches with widespread hand raising and churches with none. I don’t think not raising your hands makes you less worshipful, but I sure was told that one time.

    Years back, I actually had a fellow worship team member tell me I was “squelching the Spirit by refusing to raise” my hands. Umm, what?!?! I don’t “refuse” to raise my hands. I don’t feel the urge to raise them and actively keep them by my sides. If I felt led to raise my hands, I would. I do, however, move my feet/legs during upbeat songs and have been accused of “dancing” on stage…

  33. JESSICA says

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE address the phenomenon of people loudly whispering “Jesus, yes Jesus….” over and over and over during prayer… SO DISTRACTING! If you’ve already covered this one, please let me know where to find your commentary.

    • Betty says

      Ha my husband prayed in a circle one time between two girls from the same bible college. Apparently they had “hmmm Yes Jesus” 101 as a requirement because when hubby was finished his ears were ringing (according to him it was in stereo).

    • Jessica H says

      Oh my word, my mother-in-law!!! How does she even know what the prayer is about? What if something totally heretical is being prayed….she would just, “Jesus…yes, Jesus…Jesus, Jesus, Jesus…” the whole thing forward.

  34. Laura says

    I tried raising my hands once in Bible college to see what all the buzz was about…it felt so very weird and uncomfortable. I think I’d rather have broken the campus dress code than continue to keep my hands up in the air, waving them around as if I just didn’t care. Also…is it wrong to secretly be amused at watching the choir (especially the older members) try to clap in our clap-challenged baptist church?

  35. Jessica says

    This made me laugh because I am so not a hand raiser. I grew up Southern Baptist, and well, there ya go.

    Anyway, can I just say that I would really like it if worship leaders would PLLEEEAASSSEEE stop telling everyone to “just raise your hands right now and sing this out.” Because, really, I’m usually the only one who doesn’t follow his instructions, or feel super awkward because my will was not strong enough to resist the mass hand raise, and therefore all I’m doing during the song is wondering how much time is sufficient enough before I can put my hands back down! I just want them to leave me alone! :)

  36. Courtney says

    No handing raising or clapping in the conservative church of Christ. It could be a distraction to others, or draw attention to ourselves. We are there to worship God. Same reason the whole congregation sings, instead of having the focus on solos. We aren’t there to be entertained (like at concerts), we are there to sing praises.

  37. says

    I’m not a hand raiser myself, but on the Sundays I run the graphics computer, I often find myself doing a variant of duck-and-weave as I try to see over, around or through the person standing in my direct eye line to the platform, waving her arms and swaying ecstatically. In that case, I’m all for assigning a section (far, far from the area in front of the sound booth) for the hand raisers…

  38. Brandy says

    I love this! Especially all the wonderful comments. Personally, I’m a hand raiser when the spirit moves me but I am also a coffee holder on lazy mornings, a ‘hold the chair in front of me’ lady when people stand too close to me (God knows I’m just putting others before me. No need to slap the stranger next to me trying to ‘hand in the air’ praise) & I am a ‘hold someones baby so all I have to do is sway’ kind of worshipper. I think everyone worships differently. The beautiful thing is we are all worshipping our Heavenly Father in our own unique way. Just the way he created us to be!!

  39. says

    I raise my hands at times when I feel the mood strike me. But my rebellious nature pops out when the song TELLS me to raise my hands. Then I don’t. Crazy I know, but that’s how I roll.

  40. Natalie says

    I am the “fast song clapping starter”. There are 2 reasons I have taken on this extremely important responsibility: 1) To get fellow clappers on the right beat (I believe the Bible recommends the 2nd and 3rd), and 2) to give a little encouragement to the worship team. I consider my church in the “hip” category, we have a great band, cool lighting effects, and the worship band wears jeans! Sure, there are many hand raisers (of which I am in complete support), but during a fast song clapping is just a solid way of saying “thank you band for sounding just like Chris Tomlin this morning, we appreciate you”. Sadly I have a lot of work to do because my fellow clappers fade out around the 2nd verse.

  41. Christina says

    Woohoo!! *clap clap* Great article! *raising hand with enthisiasm, more like a fist pump*

    Yes, I’m a hand-clapper, hand-raiser, eye-closer, jumper, kneeler…just can’t help myself. And yes, this is typical at my church. It’s a big ol’ Jesus party!

    Not knocking those who don’t; but try it! It’s like being a kid…child-like, if you wanna keep it Biblical. They don’t care who’s watching; you used to be that kid, too. :)

    If not in church, maybe when you’re in your car by yourself? You know, like when your favorite song comes on and you play drums on your steering wheel, except throw on some Jesus music. (However, I’d refrain from the eye-closing or kneeling in this situation.) It’s always refreshing to watch those people at stoplights. I always think, “They look like they’re having so much fun!”

    And often, I AM that person you’re staring at when the light is red. :)

  42. Laurie says

    I am an ‘exuberant ‘ worshiper, clapping, waving, raising, the whole bit. Can’t count how many times I have stuck my finger in my husband’s ear or eye. His exuberant level: not so much.

  43. Mark Aerts says

    Playing an instrument on stage kind of limits my application of the Coffee Cup or hands in pockets methods. Though I do get to support my bass with one hand, it is usually the one arm out to the side routine.

  44. timothy says

    That’s why I joined the worship team! Hard to raise your hands playing guitar. And people don’t question how holy you are cause you are holy enough to be on the team! Haha
    Actually I’ve never been a hand raiser, and I feel that everyone is different, and we all worship in different ways. If someone wants to get down and dance or clap or sing that’s awesome. But that doesn’t mean everyone should or would. In my church some people raise their hands and others don’t. I don’t really think its that big of a deal :p

  45. Bart says

    I’m lazy, but I do the lazy equivalent. Eyes closed, hands open, palms toward front, arms down and at an approximate 30 degree angle from body. So, technically raising my hands to the floor…

  46. Andre says

    Except there’s a little glitch: our church has service on Saturday nights only. I pretty much can’t drink coffee after 6:00 p.m., and I just don’t do decaf…

  47. says

    I don’t clap either. Two reasons: For one, I’m a fibromyalgia sufferer and clapping is basically the same thing as beating myself up. For another, I have NO rhythm. I have to sing or clap. I can’t do both. And actually, I find that both singing AND clapping often distracts me from worshiping.

    I can see how a cup of coffee would solve most of these problems! Thanks, Jon!

    • Karen says

      Lisa, I hear you loud and clear. I may clap or raise hands for a short time, but just fizzle out after a short time. The same with standing, I may make it through half a song, then I’m down for the count. The problem there is, if it’s an unfamiliar song, I have to bob and weave to see the screen between swaying standers. Judges gonna judge, haters gonna hate. God knows my heart. Hands up, down or swinging in a circle, He doesn’t care. He looks at our hearts. He made us and know we’re all a little weird in our own unique way. Thankfully, I attend a nonjudgmental church where love is the first reaction.

  48. says

    I am a former arm raiser who stopped when a service was recorded and I noticed that, as the song went on, my arm got tired and moved from an “I LOVE ME SOME JESUS” upright wave position to a version of the “zich heil”. Now I’m just going to grab the chair in front of me.

  49. Joy says

    I grew up in a church with hand clappers/arm raisers so it seems “normal” to me.

    There have been mornings when I haven’t finished my coffee. I used to leave it in the foyer but then I saw a woman I respected take her coffee cup into the sanctuary. Now I’ll take mine in with me but I’ll try to sit or stand behind a taller person so I can sip with less judgement.

  50. Manda says

    It is odd to see a few dare I say “prideful” comments on those who do raise their hands, and want people to know it. If you do or not, it is up to you. I did, and now I don’t. It’s not a big deal

  51. Kara says

    Hilarious and totally reminds me of the episode of 30 rock where jack had to act in a commercial and couldn’t figure out what to do with his hands. He eventually decided that a coffee mug in each hand felt the most “natural.” For sure going to try that next Sunday.

  52. says

    I’m a hand raising, hand clapping, Amen shoutin’ believer, but that’s me, one who was saved from dead religion and haven’t been able to stop talking about Jesus since and totatly feel the need to freely praise Him in a service. But, I don’t mind if you sit quietly and worship your way. Some of the godliest people I know were silent saints… but they weren’t secret saints… their lives backed up their beliefs (as does yours Jon). It boils down to a heart matter which only you know. But I believe that serving Christ does require an outward sign, but you have the choice of what that is.

  53. David Messer says

    I have a couple of comments.

    One, every time I raise my hands in worship, everyone stops and stares. It hurts my feelings. If they keep acting like that, maybe they should find someone else to play the piano…

    And for our friend with the question about when the song says “I’m dancin’ on this mountain top…” when no one is dancing… It is a huge problem.

    Coming from a strict Baptist background, in which we did not smoke, drink, dance, or chew, or go with girls who do, our solution was to adopt the basketball traveling rule. As long as one foot remained in constant contact with the floor, it was not dancing, it was pivoting.

    Never been a problem that a good rule couldn’t solve.

    Great article!

  54. Brie says

    In your expert opinion, would you say that a can of Diet Coke would be just as effective….for those non-coffee drinkers among us? ;)

    I have suffered from non-enthusiastic-wondering if I just don’t love Jesus enough-hands my whole life, thank goodness I’m not alone. I will not clap.

  55. says

    I would rather clap terribly off beat and raise my hands to reveal my potentially sweaty pits ANY DAY than I would do the “reach across the aisle and grab your neighbor’s hand to pray” thing…Holding another dude’s (that I probably don’t know) hand as we close one of those “Jesus is my boyfriend” songs and pray a “God, we just want to lay at your feet and feel your heartbeat” prayers is NOT my idea of fun…

  56. says

    My first thought: “They let him have liquid (besides bottled water) the sanctuary??”

    Second thought: I don’t always like to raise my hands either. Yes there are times I get churched out, tired, you name it. But at the end of the day, that’s why it’s a called a SACRIFICE of praise.

    Praise doesn’t depend on how we feel. It’s a command. And while I’m not saying you can’t praise God without your hands in the air and also not saying that your hands should remain posted in the air throughout their entire praise and worship set, throughout the Bible it tells us to extend, lift, and raise our hands countless times. So I’m guessing, that probably means we should.

  57. Shannon says

    I clap, but feel weird raising hands. My son has asked me to please stop shaking my bottom during worship, though!

  58. jane says

    My one issue with hand raising? 2 words: smelly armpits. and not necessarily my own. but sometimes. i thing God appreciates that i’d rather not offend His children during worship. or maybe an aisle seat would be a good idea. (and yes, i do wear deo. ha)

  59. says

    I think people should be free to worship however they feel they best worship God. I have seen some people do so in a way that is wildly distracting from others, though, which I don’t think God was thrilled about. Maybe he was. I don’t know.

    I do know that it’s dangerous to feel like people that do express themselves in worship are somehow missing it. God has made us diverse people and some people can’t help but move when the Spirit moves. But if remaining still in the presence of God is how you honor him, then that’s cool, too.

    I just think that if you feel weird about clapping or ever lifting your hands, you’re going to be really uncomfortable when we get to heaven and we are all face down.

    • Essay says

      Well, I doubt we will feel uncomfortable in heaven just because we might be physically or socially awkward here on earth. I’m assuming that we will be perfect in heaven, and not burdened with earthly flaws. But what do I know, I’m just a non-hand raising, non clapping lesser Christian.

      Full disclosure–I don’t even sing in church. I have absolutely terrible pitch, no ear whatsoever for being on key, and really really really dislike singing as a result. I love hearing others sing though, and somehow I think that God knows my heart is inclined toward Him during the times that others are raising their hands and singing. I see nowhere that Jesus commanded us to sing, so I figure God will give me a pass for not inflicting my atonal voice on other worshipers.

  60. Dan says

    Never been able to. So I started playing music and I can’t take all the people who don’t clap or raise their hands…..haha

  61. says

    This has been bothering me all day so I’m finally gonna comment. I haven’t read all the comments so I don’t know if this point has already been made. I apologize in advance if it has:

    I grew up in a conservative Baptist church where drums were considered demonic and hand raisers probably would’ve been asked to leave. Then in jr. high I discovered U2. I went to my first U2 concert when I was 15 (ZOO TV) and was forever changed. If I could be that excited and crazy about U2, why couldn’t I show the same enthusiasm while praising Almighty God? I go nuts at a U2 concert. I was actually convicted. Granted…worship music isn’t as cool as U2 or most bands for that matter, but worshipping God is an honor and a privilege. Holding a cup of coffee would be a cop out for me.

    All that said, I realize worship is a very personal thing. Raising my hands doesn’t score me any more Jesus points. Even if you don’t feel comfortable raising your hands, I’d encourage you to at least put down your coffee while praise is being lifted up. Who cares what other people think of you?!

  62. Kathryn says

    If I’m worshiping in a non-denom, like the church I grew up in, I prefer to be playing keys in the band. It keeps my hand occupied with no clapping or raising necessary.

    But I’ve learned to love singing from a hymnal at the traditional Anglican church I now attend. You need two hands for that big ole book.

  63. says

    I really like how you took something that can be pretty controversial in certain circles and brought some common sense to it. Personally, I am not a clapper or hand raiser. Thanks for sharing and easing that “out of place” feeling at times.

  64. Lisa says

    I have a solution, just hold the hymnal or song book that is provided for you. I usually find mine on the back of the pew in front of me. Granted, not all songs that we sing are in your standard hymnal but when did it become the rule that all songs must be projected on a screen? Good luck if you’re new to church, just try to figure out how to sing the song. You don’t know when to raise your voice higher or lower. It’s frustrating. Nothing like mumbling your praise to the Lord.

  65. Karen says

    I am seeing one word in this post repeated over and over again. “I”. When hands are raised and worship is being done their is no more “I””. Only “Him”. If I am comfortable or not has nothing to do with it. It is all about what He deserves. Fully surrendered, all out, whole hearted worship without hindrance. It is a privilege to be allowed to come into His presence with singing and praise. He doesn’t need us to do it after all. If we dont the rocks will cry out. Try losing the coffee cup. Then try losing control and giving it to Him…..even if just for the length of a song. Surrender with abandon and your hands will fly up too. encompass you with a love you’ve never experienced before. You might find the love you already have for Jesus grows exponentially

  66. Lisa says

    Ha! I love this. I grew up in a Methodist hands at your sides church. Then spent about 10 years in a dance, raise your hands and weep during worship church. Went back to a quieter church- and at first I hated that I couldn’t raise my hands…it would’ve REALLY been a distraction in that setting..but got used to it…and now that church has started the whole hand raising thing and I am tired of the whole shebang. Holy cow. Now when they say, “Lift your hands in prayer…” or “lift your hands to sing,” I am all Don’t TELL me what to do or how to pray! (Especially when I see this cute little high school girl clique with their eyes shut and hands and facse lifted high….who just so happened to cyber bully my teenage son to the point of depression last year. God looks at the heart-and how you treat people all week long- not where your hands are on Sunday morning).

    • Essay says

      AMEN to that! It’s fascinating to me how people view hand raising as indicative of a person’s heart. Maybe it is, but maybe it’s also just being done because it’s expected. I really don’t care how you demonstrate your worship of God on Sunday morning, I care far more about how you demonstrate God’s love–or not–to others the rest of the week.

  67. Lorie says

    I couldn’t read all of the comments here bc there were so many but I can’t help but wonder, what do you feel when you hear a good beat? Nothing? My body won’t allow me to remain still, I have to clap…at least!

  68. says

    I’m Catholic, so we definitely don’t clap a whole lot during our service, but we do the saying hello to your neighbor thing, which the kids love.

    Not a hand raiser. Not even during the Lord’s Prayer. Some hold hands, some raise them up, I keep mine folded. I worship quietly in my own way. I also, and don’t hate me here, I don’t sing. If God wanted my singing voice to be heard outside of my car, He would have given me a sense of tune. I pray hard, but quietly, and with my hands inside the vehicle at all times.

    • Essay says

      Oh thank you, I’m not the only one who doesn’t sing! I figure when I get to heaven, that’ll be how I know it’s heaven: I’ll finally be able to sing on key.

  69. says

    Oftentimes I just don’t sing. I don’t feel like it.

    If I ever would walk into a church where they are all singing and waving their hands…I would leave.

    Usually churches like that are ‘holiness’ churches where the focus is on ‘you’.


    • Kelsey says

      Let me just recap here: Usually the churches that are engaged in worship through music are the “holiness” churches where the focus is on “you?” And this is stated after you say, “Oftentimes I don’t sing because I don’t feel like it.”

      Worship through music is a powerful expression of praise. Maybe you hate singing. Maybe you hate music. That’s fine! Truly. But those of us who DO like music and do happen to sing and raise our hands would appreciate it if you didn’t imply that we are fake or self-focused in our worship just because we express worship more outwardly than you do. Singing with worship music doesn’t make me self-focused or self-righteous. I find your comment hurtful and dangerously generalized–and rather judgemental. Someone who sings and raises their hands is worshipping God in a way you obviously “don’t feel like” doing.

      I think it’s important to remember that we all worship differently. Sounds like you don’t like worship through music at all. Sure, whatever, that’s fine. But it also sounds like you might need to rethink what it means to worship because you are criticizing the worship of others. The statement “because I simply don’t feel like it” says quite a lot. Raise your hands or don’t. Sing or don’t. That’s fine! But don’t accuse me of being self-righteous or selfish because I actually sing and raise my hands.

      • Rhonda says

        “don’t accuse me of being self-righteous or selfish because I actually sing and raise my hands”

        WOW….feeling a little defensive maybe?

  70. Jo Fick says

    Two additional comments/observations. Sometimes, I don’t feel like standing up. I’d rather just sit and listen to the song and maybe close my eyes. Not like sleeping, but like praying. And you kind of have to close your eyes, or you could not stand the guilt of realizing you are the ONLY one not standing. And I do not like being instructed by the worship leader to “stand up and put your hands together!” No one likes to be bossed around in church.

  71. Peter says

    Not a fan of this idea that everyone just does what they feel. David got his gear off and did an outrageous dance!

  72. Ethan says

    My church meets in a movie theater, you can bring some coffee, but with the cup holder you still don’t have an excuse. You would need at least three separate containers of coffee for this excuse to work, and at that point you’ll still be getting weird looks albeit for a different reason.

    I don’t raise my hands in church and rarely raise them in worship, but I make up for this by singing loudly and keeping my hands in a neutral position (either clasped behind my back or resting on my thighs) never crossed in that classic “I hate Jesus pose.” (That’s a joke by the way).

  73. Rich Goldman says

    I witnessed a hand raising assault one Sunday. This girl had the double hand in the air swingin them around like she didn’t care action goin on. She was on an aisle seat and smoked a poor sap that was too late to sit in the middle to rear, so they had to sit up front. Could have been Daylight Savings Time Sunday, but that’s a story for another blog… Anyway, about knocked the poor victim to the ground. Luckily, there was so much praise in those hands, it was like getting hit with a Jesus feather duster, so there was no blood. Black eye… but no blood.

  74. says

    I grew up in hand raising churches… now that I’m old and wise (sarc!) the hindsight filter on my lens has exposed more Simon Says. Sure, there’s plenty of authentic worship, too. It doesn’t matter what group of people you’re in, people are going to be PEOPLE!

  75. says

    I realize that this blog isn’t meant to be super serious but I do think that this is something that people don’t teach on a lot in church.

    “Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD.” Psalm 134:2

    This is just one example that I came up with… isn’t it a command of the Lord to lift your hands in worship to Him? I’m not saying that you’re wrong or right, but it is my personal conviction that it is a command of the Lord to lift our hands while worshiping Him. Now, whether you do this in corporate worship or you save it for when you are in personal times of worship, I don’t think that matters. But I do believe that it is very biblical to lift your hands to God in worship.

    In the above verse, the verb for lift is “nasa” in Hebrew. It is written in the imperative or “command” form of the verb.

    As a worship leader, I always encourage others to explore the lifting of hands in worship. You may not feel comfortable at first, but that’s OK. God does not call us to be comfortable, but to be obedient. My feeling is that if the Word is telling me to do something, no matter how uncomfortable, I should at least give it a try. I believe the Lord takes pleasure in the lifting of hands in worship as a sign of submission and adoration.

    Just my 2 cents.

    • jdens says

      Know what else is “commanded” to be lifted up in the Psalms? The heads of gates; doors; God’s hand; songs. And a negative command on lifting up horns, so don’t do that! My point being that a “command” is not the same as a commandment. We use command forms all the time in an exhortative way (e.g. Come on, live a little! Come over to our house for dinner! Everyone dig in!) The Psalms are songs, of course, and they invite participation. They invited participation according to their time and custom. They also urged God to do something about injustice (they weren’t commanding God, even though it’s an imperative form). I don’t particularly care about the style with which people choose to worship, and I’m sure there’s more than one “right” way.

      • says

        I can see what you’re saying. I just have to go back to “what does the bible say?” The Psalms are our guidebook of what biblical worship should look like (not exclusively of course). If God’s word exhorts us to do something, is it “personal choice” or is it disobedient to not do it? God wouldn’t have allowed the lifting of hands to be so prevalent in scripture if it wasn’t something that should be included in our worship to Him. As I said above, I don’t think it has to be done publicly, but I don’t see how being down on it is helping anything. Often I feel like our Christian culture is so “I’ll do what I want to worship God” that we many times veer from having the scripture as our anchor in what worship should look like.

        I’m all for not putting worship in a box. Can you express yourself in other ways besides music? Absolutely! But to say that it’s something we shouldn’t do because we “don’t feel comfortable,” or it doesn’t fit into our social construct of what modern church should be, strikes me as self serving.

        Let me be clear, I’m not saying you have to raise your hands in church. Do what you want. Let it be your own heart’s conviction to worship how you believe the Lord would be pleased. I just don’t think that we should shut the door on something that is repeated OVER and OVER in the scriptures as something that is done during worship. I didn’t feel comfortable the first time I raised my hands in worship, but I know that it is pleasing to the Lord when I do by the way He has responded to me over and over again.

  76. says

    My dad would always lean over to me and whisper, “I think that lady has a question.” When someone in front of us would raise their hands in worship. Then later when she’d do it again, he’d lean over and say, “Why won’t the pastor call on her already?” So yea, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to raise my hands in chuch. Unless, of course I actually have a question.

  77. Melanie says

    I used to go to a church that once spent an entire Sunday night service guilting people to put up their hands in worship. They showed a clip of teenagers at a Michael W. Smith concert and talked about how open and free and worshipful these wonderful teenagers were, and how beautiful it was, then they encouraged everyone, “If you want to”, to try it. Oh boy. I do not go to church there anymore.

  78. Sue says

    I don’t generally clap but will if the mood strikes me. A lot of the congregation claps along to the more upbeat songs but I find it actually tiring if it goes on a long time. I like to move a little, though, like tap my feet! Being Methodists, we actually find it hard to move and clap sometimes. Our pastor, who has been a Methodist all his life, teases us sometimes that we don’t respond like he’d like sometimes. It’s actually quite funny!

  79. Jenn B says

    I clap when I feel like it. I don’t clap when the worship leader tries to guilt me into it . . . especially when they do the big double-time clapping. No, I will do my lazy clap when I feel like it, thank you. And I’m not raising my hands for fear I’ve misinterpreted something and it’s really a question and they’ll call on me for the answer. I love the coffee idea and will use that as an excuse not to shake hands. I don’t know where their hands have been and there’s no room in my purse for hand sanitizer.

  80. Dave says

    Why does no one raise their hands during the offering? I’ve been in church 30 years and have yet to see someone praise God while the collection plate goes by. Just Wondering..

  81. says

    I can’t help it much anymore. I raise my hands during worship at our church as well as in the car or at my home. I didn’t grow up that way, quite the contrary, but freedom is a great place to be. I say, relax a little. If you feel like you should raise your hands, do it. Don’t be the person that always wishes they could and just feels awkward, so they don’t.

  82. Alana Williams says

    I’m sure God is smiling down on me with pure delight with how ridiculous I look totally jamming out during worship – at home, in my car and at church! I let it all go. When I serve in stage lighting I have an even larger area in the booth to make up more white-girl moves. Yeah!!

    Just an observation, Jon – you don’t have lazy hand shame in your logo. Hmmm.

    Love ya!


  83. Lana Vaughan says

    Nope. No hand raising. No clapping. The shear volume of the music drove me out of church years ago.

    And before someone suggests ear plugs, I challenge you to try it. Ear plugs cause a ringing in my ears that make it impossible to concentrate let alone meditate.

  84. Strawberryrose says

    I’m on the praise team and I have to be careful with the hands raised. One time, I lowered my raised hand while a praise team singer next to me raised his. Our hands hit each other. Praise team foul.

  85. JohnP says

    I don’t think it’s right for people to be physically expressive by doing things physically that others aren’t doing in church. After all, it’s corporate worship. The idea that we have to do something other people aren’t doing to be authentic is against what should be going on, and really fosters a works-righteousness mentality. Plus, why would I want to distract someone by putting my big hands up right in front of them or by dancing a jig or cuttin’ a rug? You know, church: Have some God-centered hymns played on a piano or organ, a sermon about Jesus dying for us, and a benediction. We could bow our heads when we pray, fold our hands…normal church things. Well, I guess that’s kind of hard to find now? Once I heard a worship event described as a “rock and roll worship circus.” Even if I granted that those participating in this were sincere in their devotion (which I don’t feel I have the right to make this pronoucement), I’d have a hard time thinking that it’s really church.

  86. Cat Lewis says

    I don’t mean to be snarky, I really don’t! I probably need another cup of coffee or another hour’s sleep, so this may not sound as “on point” as I intend. When I find myself noticing what other people are doing during worship, I’m not worshipping; my focus is on them, not God. If I start to pay attention to those on stage or the folks around me, then I know my focus is not on the One I worship. I have to pull myself back to praise, and it’s hard, trust me (oooh, look, shiny thing!), but I have to focus on what I’m doing, not on where my mind wanders. Now, I’m a hand raiser—I don’t take offense here, btw—but it’s just what I do. It. Just. Happens. I can’t control it and I don’t plan it; it just is something that I do when I’m worshipping Him. And, you know what? Sometimes I don’t do it at all. Once, I spent an entire 4-song experience with my arms folded in front of me. I only realized it when I sat down. It’s just what was going on that day. Now, I understand how those of you who do not raise hands may feel when surrounded by those of us who do. I once visited a church where they invited anyone with a spark to come down and prance about in front of the stage, where they had buckets filled with flags, streamers, pom poms, ribbons and such. While my hand may pop up while standing guard over my seat, I would rather do a multitude of enormously uncomfortable assignments than frolic with streamers in front of the congregation during worship. Your cup of coffee is genius, if one’s church allows coffee in the auditorium. If not, hold a Bible. That’ll show ‘em.

  87. Dru says

    I attended a pretty conservative church as a kid – there was no clapping and hand-raising anywhere to be seen. In high school, some members of our band played in the Christmas cantata at the new, much larger, more modern church in town. This was the first time I’d seen hand-raisers, and I was amused… thought I’d walked in on a cult.

  88. Doug says

    As a mandolin player, I can not clap my hands in church. Church clapping tends to happen on 1 & 3. Every mandolin player knows that friends don’t let friends clap on 1 & 3. You need to clap on 2 & 4. Therefore, I look like a spazz who can’t clap on beat, even though it is the rest of the group clapping wrong.

  89. Alison says

    HA! Our church has an old guy who always yells at me quite aggressively if I try to bring in coffee. Coffe cups all over the sanctuary – and he goes after me like I have a bomb strapped to my chest. When I asked someone else about him, they said he used to be a heroin addict or something. Clearly God has beat his addiction and that is super, but he is a little cranky now. Thankfully the hands up thing has not become an epidemic at our church. Maybe because my faith lacking hands are the only ones without a dang cup of coffee.

  90. C Brown says

    Really hope this is ironic. If not it absolute nonsense and actually unbiblical.

    Psalm 63v4
    Psalm 141v2
    Psalm 134v2
    Lamentations 3v41
    1 Kings 8v38
    Psalm 119v48

    Don’t try and make your “I’m too cool to worship Jesus in a biblical way” out to be everyone else’s problem!!!

    • Paul says

      What about Matthew 6:5-8?

      That seems to be Jesus saying that God wants worship from our heart, not showing off.

      For some people, raising hands may be from the heart, for others, it may not be. Does God want us to lie in worship by raising our hands when it’s not an expression of our hearts? I believe God wants honest worship (John 4:24), and sitting quietly in awe of Him may be more meaningful worship for some than dancing and waving hands around.

      Where does the Bible say that someone else can tell us when to raise our hands, be it a worship leader, or Chris Tomlin?

      So, the psalms etc were written by someone who liked raising their hands occasionally – is that a command to EVERYONE to raise their hands whenever they’re singing a loud song? Also, some of those verses are taken way out of context…

  91. Aussie Wayne says

    I only have three things to say:
    1 Thank goodness we can lose the tambourine – Praise Jesus;
    2 I much prefer the Santana egg, but even the mention of Samtana in church is, I guess, quite unacceptable for you guys; and
    3 Is this a North American “thang”? We usually sing out if our mouths …
    Bless you!

  92. Trudy says

    Kind of funny, but at the same time self-centered, the problem w christians today.

    Let me ask you, have you ever gone to a concert? Do u just stand there? If the answer is no, then why would u just stand there in worship of an almighty God?

    Most importantly, if you were before God would you stand there with a coffee cup while giving him praise? I would hope the answer is no.

    Since when did worship become about you?

  93. Cicely says

    I don’t like to clap or lift my hands up in church. Few in my church lift their hands up, but sometimes will clap. Sometimes I clap too. Its just not “me”. People worship differently; how they do it makes no difference. If the song has good rhythm, I sometimes like to play drums lightly on the pew in front of me. I bet some would say that is disrespectful, or whatever. Who knows? Who cares? If someone is offended by if you clap or don’t clap, lift your hands in praise or don’t lift them, then its something for that person to think about – why it bothers *them* – and it is their own job to work through that. If it were my job to worry about if I am meeting societal worship guidelines I would change churches or just stay home. Is it the goal to push people away from Christianity because of all the silly rules and expectations? Because it would. It is religious nonsense having these expectations and speaks nothing of their actual relationship with God. I’m there for personal reasons, not for anyone else. Sure its a selfish thing, if someone has to label it that – its about God and me. Not me and you. You worship how you want. Let everyone else worship how they want. Its a personal thing.

  94. Miriam says

    Nope, never have. I sing to God–I’ve never sung the praises of a person in that way. Clapping is, to me, a cheap form of congratulatory or encouraging praise reservered for something humans, but not special enough for God. I’d no more sing the glories of a person than I would clap for the Creator.

    I think I feel that way partly because of the way performances in the human world work. We clap at performances many times even when we’re aren’t all that impressed. It’s kind of perfunctory and can even cross the line to condescending. “Oh, well, they’re done we’ve gotta clap.” Or “not one of those kids was even close to being on key, but let’s clap for the little darlings, bless their hearts.”

    The reason I don’t raise my hands is even simpler. Courtesy to others. Worship is about God–I don’t want to do anything that might in any way distract anyone from Him to me. And as someone who never knows the words to the choruses, I need to be able to see the screen. It’s annoying when someone is waving their hands all in front of it. I don’t want to do that to anyone else.

  95. Marcie says

    Mine is not a “don’t want to” case.., it’s a CAN’T! I have absolutely ZERO rhythm, and if I have to think about clapping or raising my arm without awkwardness,I am totally losing the effect of the praise!
    I usually just praise with voice and tears.

  96. says

    In my church, even the coffee cup won’t stop ‘em. Heck, they manage to carry wriggling toddlers with one hand, while the other one’s raised–and waiving. Seems, there’s no stopping a convicted hand-raiser. Just watch and praise–silently.

  97. Nicki says

    Hmm… after reading all 200 comments, I think I’ve come to the conclusion that most people are in agreement that hand-raising doesn’t make you more spiritual or “in-tune” with the Holy Spirit.

    At least, that’s what we say publicly.

    But I think that deep in the back of every hand-raiser’s mind is a tiny little prideful speck that very secretly thinks they probably are more spiritual, because if a person had really committed everything in themselves to God, how could they NOT feel moved enough to raise their hands in worship?

    And I think that deep in the back of every non-hand-raiser’s mind is a tiny little guilty speck that very secretly fears they are less “all in” for God because they haven’t been able to overcome their inhibitions to worship God with their hands as well as their hearts.

    But don’t worry. God’s got it handled.

  98. Robyn says

    I’ve sat near someone who was holding a cup of coffee and trying to raise their hands in worship. It looked like they were giving a really long and confused toast and was more than slightly terrifying.

  99. Ashley says

    I was raised in a church where if you were to raise your hand during the requisite 1870-1940 hymnal, a deacon would probably ask you to sit on them. I can’t remember standing to sing even unless you were leading the song or performing a solo/group piece. That being said, I am utterly uncomfortable raising my hand even if I feel like I should. However, my daughter is a handraiser, and I spent the first five years of her life trying to get her to put her hand down. Just in the last year have I given up and been okay with her arms lifted during worship.

  100. thes says

    Not a clapper but a hand raiser in a church where nobody else seems to be. So I k I da feel to opposite do a coffee cup ddoesn’t fix my problem maybe some crazy blood spray cut in my hand t gst requires me to hold my arm up hight so that it’s above heart level. But maybe cutting Ur self on Sundays before worship isn’t the solution

  101. Bee says

    If my heart is stirred to raise my hands, I do it. I once heard a pastor point out that the Bible talks about lifting HOLY hands, and that God was more concerned with what kind of hands we raise, than whether or not we raise them. I would agree. It’s a matter of the heart and whether you are expressing outwardly the worship of within. Or just doing it to do it.

  102. says

    Melissa flips the script, as she tries to coerce an “Air Marshall” on a flight into a mile-high
    liaison. Considering her often provocative dance moves, it’s likely most of the fans
    at the concert didn’t even notice, especially when she righted herself soon after.
    Sullivan, “Melissa Mc – Carthy’s ‘Identity Thief’ Fight Bloodied Up Jason Bateman.

  103. says

    I’ve never been a hand-raiser. On a couple of occasions however, I’ve experimented with throwing my hands up in the air, and waving then around like I just don’t care.

    It earned me some disapproving stares and a solemn chat with our pastor.

  104. Brittany says

    1 Timothy 2:8 ESV “I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;”

    Just let go and worship!

  105. says

    I once visited a church where a man ran full speed around the congregation during worship. And, if memory serves, he did have his hands raised. I couldn’t tell if he was moved by the Holy Spirit or just trying to get his exercise in while doing worship. ;)-

  106. TJ Stanley says

    Well. I, for one, feel your challenge. I sometimes sign songs. (Yes, Mr. Spellcheck, I spelled my word correctly.) Therefore, to just raise my hands, would be awkward for me.
    Also, I find that people tend to raise their hands when the song says to, which brings out the rebel in me. And I think, “You can not make me. Nope. Not gonna happen.”

  107. Sierra says

    I can appreciate satirical writing, but I found this to offensive to those who believe whole hearted, physical worship is authentic worship. That would include raised hands. Your post may be written in the form of humor but presents a very real issue with many church goers. The issue that people are missing the point. It isn’t supposed to be technical or conscious.. One should truly worship letting all things go.. Whether it’s closing your eyes and getting lost in the music, lifting your arms to the ceiling like a child asking their father to pick them up, or sitting with your head bowed as you let the words of the music penetrate your heart.. It’s different for everyone. But I just cannot and will not believe anyone can authentically act out the true meaning of WORSHIP with a coffee cup in their hand. Or even those who just stand and stare blankly, not engaging. And the comments on here… Joking about substituting the coffee with a smartphone?? We should not be encouraging any distractions. (Joking or not, people actually do these things) Worship is a verb, something in which one DOES. If no action is taking place… Then what? I also believe worship is a place. When I worship, I am brought to a place where I have experienced more of the Holy Spirit than I ever did just standing in plain conscious awareness. We need to realize that the devil doesn’t want us to get to this place! He wants us to feel timid and awkward with our hands at our side, afraid of the stares we may get if we lift our hands to celebrate The Lord. We need to demolish this behavior and encourage our brothers and sisters to worship with our entire selves. God gave us His whole heart in the form of His Son… The least we can do is give Him all we are with worship.. with our lives. And to me, that includes raising hands.

  108. Kara says

    I just had this exact conversation with a friend yesterday. The most awkward (in my opinion) is when the service leader or worship leader in all their well meaning enthusiasm says “raise your hands and show God you love Him”. So if I don’t raise my hands then I don’t love Jesus? Lol! All I can say is we Christians sure do some weird things. ;)

    Ps: we’re not allowed coffee in our services :( but how I wish we were.

  109. says

    As a musician, I would like to propose that all [white] people who insist on clapping on the 1 and 3 instead of 2 and 4, should never clap at anything, ever.

    No arena concerts, Superbowl halftime shows, no campfire singalongs, and no church worship services.

    That is all.

  110. Kari says

    I used to raise my hands, clap my hands, and have even brought tambourines to services. I also have held coffee cups during worship.

    Then I broke my neck in a car accident and am now a quadriplegic.

    I still worship with as much physical ability as I am able. God is worth it.

    Satire can be funny… but don’t make fun of the way people worship. And don’t take for granted any physical ability that you do have.

  111. Kate McKita says

    I loved this so much that I am clapping on the inside. I will go to church telling myself I will not cry, or wave and clap and make love comments under my breath today. Why, cause I know that I am the one out of fifty who do and I don’t want to be noticed that day. But I get there and praise is praise and God is good. My but apparently also gets to shaking and the works just happen, tears and all every week.

    I have simply come to understand and accept that this is how God and I groove together. Embrace whatever you feel like embracing! Who knows there may be a closet clapper in your midst and they would not come out if they didn’t see someone else lost in abandon for God. I am utterly and totally a fool and would pull a David if I thought I could get away with it.

  112. Courtney C says

    I actually resolved this a different way. I have no sense of rhythm, as in can’t tell a down beat from an up, so I don’t clap, but I also can’t stay still with my hands raised. Worship music makes me want to dance, and I dance with the same grace with which I clap (none). So I took the sign language I knew (I have hearing loss, and early in my life no one was sure how bad it would ultimately be- in reality, it’s not obvious unless you know me well), and started adding common words used in praise songs. It turned out to be a great form of expression for me, and has become “that thing” that I’m known for in my church. I’ve had elderly women come up to me spontaneously after a service to say how encourage they were to see praise in a new way- although it can be awkward if they assume that I’m fully deaf or more hard of hearing than I actually am.

  113. says

    A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment. I believe that you need to write more about this issue,
    it may not be a taboo matter but generally folks don’t discuss these issues.
    To the next! Best wishes!!

  114. Robert says

    if the Spirit Moves you to lift your hand in Worship/Prayer “Do it” as it says lift your hands in Praise to the Lord (Psalm 134:2). Its a sign of complete surrender to the Lord, as is being on your knees in Prayer….When your in the presence of the Lord it’s between you and Him …with respect of course…..The Scary thing is ….when I see people lifting there hands at a Rock or Rap concert or even at the Club –What they are really doing is a form of complete surrender to anything but the Lord..I only lift my hands in Worship/Prayer to One Christ Jesus ……just a thought….think about it


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