Levity For The Weekend: Official Worship Signals

I’ve seen this snazzy little hilarious diagram floatin’ around the internetz this past week. For context: I grew up in a traditional Baptist church, currently attend a charismatic Methodist church body, and I follow the ministries of many Reformed Presbyterian guys. For reasons I may explain in another post, I loosely consider myself a “charismatic with a seat-belt.” I have seen, or can empathize with, all the “worship signals” in this model. I got a chuckle out of the Baptist warning at the bottom.

These signals are all courtesy of the brilliant comedic mind of Tim Hawkins. Here is my favorite skit of his. It’s a classic in my book:

Other body signals I have witnessed in my respective worship experiences: The Gaither family toe tap (has been known to cause turf toe in Southern Baptists). The reverse Running Man Pentecostal jig (has been known to be 2 Legit 2 Quit). The psych ward charismatic body rock (has been known to get you admitted to Shutter Island). One of my personal favorites is the massive youth conference Simon-Says-Standup game that happens after the first person leaves their seat during the beginning of a worship song.

Am I missing any pertinent motions you’d like to share?

I won’t be posting the next couple of days. With out-of-town friends visiting for the weekend, an all day away high school track meet Saturday, and Sunday worship and family time, I’ll see you peeps sometime next week!

God bless you and keep you til then…and don’t forget Sunday morning to:

Lift your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord. (Psalm 134:2)

Bryan Daniels

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Author: Bryan Daniels

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Jessica, and a father of three boys: Josiah, Gideon and Judah. I teach high school math as a job, read reformed theology as a hobby, and write this blog just for kicks. With the rest of my time I coach football and track.

43 thoughts on “Levity For The Weekend: Official Worship Signals”

  1. Not sure what you’d call it, but my in-laws very frozen Presbyterian church that is trying to have a contemporary service doesn’t know how to clap. they try, but can’t keep a rhythm to save their lives.

  2. I got a good laugh out of this. I grew up in/am a member of a very conservative United Reformed Church. We don’t even clap after someone does special music, and you’ll never see a raised hand. Although I’d perfer to still be in that type of church, I now attend a charismatic Evangelical church where clapping and the “Village People” pose are the norm. (there are no URC churches in El Salvador!) Adjusting to this type of worship was a little difficult at first. I still don’t really raise my hands, but I’m fine with the people around me doing it! I have-dare i say it- clapped in church, though!

  3. With myself having gone from a Methodist upbringing, to a Pentecostal worshipping, to a now Baptist church member (and theology student), I consider myself a Charismatic Baptist. I’d say that that’s very much a “charismatic with a seat-belt” position too 😉

      1. Dude, you have the weirdest combination of theologies that I know. You’re a Baptist at heart which tends to be quite Biblically conservative, yet worshipping in a Methodist church which tends to be quite liberal (not to mention normally charismatically dead, yet yours seems to be very much charismatically alive). Add to all that is that Methodists tend to be Arminian whereas you’re reformed (Calvinist-ic-ish). I love it!! My wife once had a dream where the Holy Spirit said to her that one day we’re all going to get to heaven and realise that we ALL had it wrong. God bless. D.

  4. I am an elbow flapper at most. Until recently we had been visiting a church where the majority were in the “Expert” category. My husband is not even an elbow flapper… I felt very self conscious with my arms to the sides or folded across my chest… like people must be thinking that I was too closed off to feel the holy spirit. When I realized this I sat down…. I sang the music and worshipped in my own way. That is my business and I dont have to fit in a mold. Several days later I was listening to hymns on Pandora jamming out and dancing around my kitchen. I realized that God expects me to worship how he created me to worship. What a freeing feeling! I dont see me doing anything beyond my elbow flapping during a worship service in a church, but that doesnt mean I am not worshipping just the same. Praise Jesus who sees what our heart looks like when we worship rather than our outward movements!

  5. Reblogged this on These Three Things and commented:
    I am an elbow flapper at most. Until recently we had been visiting a church where the majority were in the “Expert” category. My husband is not even an elbow flapper… I felt very self conscious with my arms to the sides or folded across my chest… like people must be thinking that I was too closed off to feel the holy spirit. When I realized this I sat down…. I sang the music and worshipped in my own way. That is my business and I dont have to fit in a mold. Several days later I was listening to hymns on Pandora jamming out and dancing around my kitchen. I realized that God expects me to worship how he created me to worship. What a freeing feeling! I dont see me doing anything beyond my elbow flapping during a worship service in a church, but that doesnt mean I am not worshipping just the same. Praise Jesus who sees what our heart looks like when we worship rather than our outward movements!

  6. A few Sundays ago, a church member referred to our congregation as “The Frozen Chosen”–ha! Loved the diagram, thanks for pointing out the Baptist warning–didn’t see it at first. We stand during songs, clap, some raise hands, some raise both arms, but not a lot. I might clap hands, and do some toe tapping, but I’m uncomfortable raising my hands. I visited a church a few years ago and a lady in the front of the congregation was dancing with a long scarf to the beat of the music… it was okay with me and kind of entertaining, actually. At least it gave us something to often say, “remember when we visited that church…”

  7. Loved this! As an originally Roman Catholic, who made it through the “folk mass” movement, turned Southern Baptist, then Charistmatic, then Assemblies of God, and now Presbyterian, I can identify! Of course, now I’m a Presby-costal, so I’m really confused!

  8. Grew up Baptist, decades spent in Bible Churches and now Anglicanism. Swaying and tapping my foot are about as demonstrative as I get, but my heart is dancing in the aisles!

  9. Please explain “charismatic methodist” .LOL..I have a dear friend who is a Methodist Minister, who could be this! 🙂 Thanks for the post, I have found myself extravagantly in every one of these. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Ha! I would say anyone who believes that all the spiritual gifts mentioned in the epistles are for today, could be categorized “charismatic.” There are differing levels of charismatic beliefs though: some simply hold to all the gifts as valid in the modern church (I do), others go further to say that the office or anointing of “apostles” are for today too (I have some issues with that).

  10. The diagrams were great! Growing up, I attended Baptist churches (definitely rookie status) – I cracked up at the warning on the expert signals. I go to a non-denominational church now and there are some experts in our group…I’m comfortable with the rookie movements. I tap my feet to the music but that’s about it.

    Loved, loved, LOVED the Tim Hawkins clip. I have a couple of his DVDs but haven’t seen that one before.

  11. I love the phrase, “charismatic with a seatbelt.” So apt a description for my husband and myself as well. We have a similarly “eclectic” theological pedigree: Baptist, charistmatic, Reformed. I particularly loved the comment by Darryl: “My wife once had a dream where the Holy Spirit said to her that one day we’re all going to get to heaven and realise that we ALL had it wrong.” Thank you for this.

  12. This was the funniest! Love, love, love! I’ve seen most of it & done some of it….even if it was with my eyes closed. You know, like a kid…if I can’t see you, then you can’t see me? I also grew up Baptist & heard tons of “amens” etc. but there was never any worship signals in my little church…a little surprising actually. But thanks as usual for your insight!

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