Friday, September 19, 2008

Mistaking Shouting for Saying Something Worthwhile

The shout seems to have become very popular over the last few years. In some meetings after being asked to shout, (not just me personally, that would be even more silly, but the whole crowd), I have been told I am not shouting loud enough and have been encouraged to shout with more vigor, enthusiasm, for longer, and with spontaneity (right now!).

Now I know that the bible encourages us to shout to God with a voice of triumph; somewhere along the way though I think we have missed it. The shout seems to have become the measuring stick for how much the crowd loves Jesus, a general KPI of the Spirit moving, and a rhetorical device that quiet obviously adds impact and authority to ones preaching.

The reality is shouting is just shouting. It is using ones voice in a significantly louder than usual manner and when appropriated for an extended period of time can be damaging to vocal chords and ones throat.

Sometimes it is an important and significant response to God. Sometimes it adds emphasis and impact to a particular statement or point in a message. It can be helpful when telling a story. However, let's not mistake shouting for saying something important, evidence of devotion to Christ, or a sign of spiritual breakthrough.


Deb Sjardin said...

Ha! So true! In fact, in the hight of the 'shouting movement' as I'll call it, I had to learn to whistle with my fingers so as to partake but not ruin my singing joke!!

Joseph McAuley said...

Good thinking. Interesting dilemma for a worship leader though, to lead the way as a leader should and shout your heart out or to hold back in order to lead longer latter? Hmmm crazyness!