Hello brother Jeffrey,
I hope you are doing well. I recently heard a brother ask this question and wanted to reach out to you with it.
If hand clapping in worship is wrong, what is the difference between that and a song leader appreciating the preacher after his sermon? Are those appreciative words not done to praise men? Is it wrong for a song leader to say words of appreciation to the preacher after a sermon?
Thank you and God bless you for your dedication and good work on the website.
At the time of this writing, I'm dealing with COVID. In between frequent naps, I'm managing to answer a few questions.
As explained in Clapping in Worship, it is not appropriate to express that we were entertained by the things being done in the worship of God. When I hear song leaders express their appreciation for the lesson, the emphasis is typically on what they learned from the lesson. "I want to thank brother X for that lesson, he gave us a lot to think about this week."
"But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another" (I Thessalonians 5:12-13).
This is not about inflating a man's ego but expressing appreciation for the work being done and the benefits being provided to the congregation. Clapping doesn't accomplish this. It is unable to say why a person was benefitted. Other verses to examine are I Corinthians 16:18; Philippians 2:29; and I Timothy 5:17. Since God commands the expression of appreciation, it is not wrong.
Hello brother Jeffrey,
Thank you for your reply. I pray that through the providence of God, you will be well soon.
Men like you are very few in the church these days. I have been someone who has been blessed by your work on the website. Since I moved to the United States for schooling, I have longed to visit your congregation, and I pray I will do that one day just to sit down with you to chat.
My heart is filled with joy by your passion and zeal for the truth each time I read from your website. It is a privilege to learn from you as always.
God bless you and your family and may He continue to bless the churches of Christ.