A few weeks ago, I helped write the opening number for the North Point Drive Conference in Atlanta. Steve Fee, who I might be doing some hilarious things with in the future, crushed the performance and it set a really cool vibe for the rest of the night. My only problem with the whole thing was that I had to suffer through a pretty serious “Half-SO.” What’s that?
A “Half-SO” is street slang for “Half Standing Ovation.” This is that awkward experience where half the crowd decides to stand during a song and the other half decides to remain seated. That’s what happened on opening night. A young girl in front of me immediately jumped to her feet and the guy next to her said, “Yeah no, not going to do that.” My wife couldn’t see, because of the standing girl, and I could because of the seated dude. So do I stand with my wife and show solidarity in the marriage? Do I remain seated and show that my wife and I express worship in different ways? Do I tap the guy in front of me on the shoulder and ask him why he is not standing?
So many questions.
People often accuse me of being negative on this site or mocking sweet baby Jesus. I don’t see it that way. I am not rapper Method Man, I did not come to bring the pain. I see this as me just holding up a mirror to church and Christianity. Sure, I am sarcastic, but more than that, I just try to be reflective. Today, I want to reflect a quick guide on how to know when it’s time to stand up during worship. I want to help eradicate the “Half-SO.”
The Get Up Guide. (When to get up and stand vs. get down and sit)
1. If the worship leader says, “Please rise,” it’s time to get up.
2. If the worship leader is playing the piano alone in a really sad way, it’s time to get down.
3. If at least 22% of the other people in the crowd are standing you have enough momentum to get everyone standing, so it’s time to get up.
4. If someone plays a pan flute or a tambourine that has ribbons on it, don’t encourage that behavior, it’s time to get down.
5. If there are 14 verses in the bulletin for today’s sermon, you’re about to be sitting for a while, it’s time get up.
6. If there is an old lady or squadron of old ladies behind you that won’t be able to see if you stand, it’s time to get down.
7. If the song sounds like it could be featured in a commercial for ESPN’s X Games or Mountain Dew, it’s time to get up.
8. If you can tell from the worship leader’s face that unless she gets a full ovation she is going to play “I could sing of your love forever” for the next 27 minutes, it’s time to get up.
9. If you have a friend visiting for the first time and they have promised to never return if you stand, dance or give them a side hug, it’s time to get down.
10. If when you stand you are going to be tempted to bust out some of the moves you learned in a youth group dance number to the song “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” it’s time to get down.
Hopefully this will help simplify a lot of stand up situations and help end the “Half-SO” problem currently decimating churches across the world.
Worship leaders, how do you feel about the Half-SO? Do you notice it? Do you want to arm wrestle the people that refuse to get up? Do you talk about it with other worship leaders when you are buying Fidel Castro hats at Buckle or scarves at H&M? (I’m just jealous because I can’t pull of either of those things and my goatee/soul patch is anemic at best)