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When It's Okay to Cheer at Church

Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. —Psalm 47:1

Applause happens.

Right? Watch American Idol, and every performer receives applause—even Anoop. Regardless of singing talent, an expectation exists for the audience to cheer; it's normal. And, let's admit it, forgotten a moment later.

Attend a sporting event, and applauding becomes your job. An easy job, for sure, during the NCAA basketball tourney. Yet once again, cheering is expected and quickly dismissed.  

Unique moments of applause exist, though, that make their way into long-term memory—especially when they happen unexpectedly and for a great reason.

I visited a church mentoring program that takes place in an elementary school. Steve, the church's program director, hosted the tour. We saw volunteer men and women of all ages sit with children of all ages to read a book, color a picture, and most important, just talk. The common trait found in the kids: the school classifies them as at-risk. The shared trait of volunteers: Christ-followers who love children.

After chatting with ...

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