Applause is powerful. The Webster definition of applause is “a show of approval or appreciation at a play, speech, sporting event, etc. in which people strike their hands together over and over.”
I shared this past weekend with our Gilbert campus and will share with all of you now that I started singing in church when I was 4. My Dad got me up on the stage to sing with him and I’ve never stopped. I’ve been singing in church for…..are you ready for it…34 years now. Applause in church is something I’m used to but there was a season of life where the applause directed at God became confusing to me – or I think realistically it didn’t become confusing, I just gladly took that applause for myself.
I started off singing with a great perspective as a young person; I wanted to sing the praise of Jesus & lift Him up, I knew it was a God given talent and I was honored to give it back. As I entered into my teens, pride became hard to manage, my talent grew and unfortunately my character did not in that season so it became easy to attribute my skill and success to myself rather than God. And the applause… I took the applause rather than gave the applause.
It was a hard journey for years throughout my teens and young adult life, I wanted so badly to not be prideful and to praise and applaud God only but didn’t know how when people were definitely applauding me. I went through a period of not allowing myself to receive any compliments to help, re-directing everything to God. For example:
Someone would say, “Jaime, that was an awesome service, we love your voice” My response: “It was an awesome service, God is so good” or something along those lines. I did this re-directing of praise for, maybe 7 years or so, until one day…. I was in Church, had led for a worship service, had a kind man come give me a compliment after, and I did what I knew to do to keep my pride at bay and I re-directed that praise and the gentlemen looked at me sadly and said “you need to let people love on you and be ok with it, people love to love on people.”
“People love to love on people”…it made me smile and it made me think…maybe my journey with applause could look different then it had, it was so freeing. So, I started a new discipline, praying against my pride before every service, applauding God after every song to direct praise to Him AND allowing people to love on me.
I’ve worked for a long time now to allow compliments and applause to go to my heart and not my head; it’s my journey and the journey of my team members.
At Central in our weekend services, sometimes, we have a special song that is performed and we applause the worship team to show appreciation, sometimes we applaud the band for a great job on an instrumental song, again to show appreciation. And that’s ok. Actually, let me say thanks to all of you each weekend that come to love on our worship teams, it means a lot.
And as a church, those onstage & offstage applaud God after each praise song to show appreciation to Him! Join us!