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How can you tell if someone is truly worshiping or just putting on a show? That’s the question at hand after a video surfaced this weekend of Pastor Keion Henderson hushing a church member during worship. The viral clip posted by The Shade Room shows a woman crying out loudly then Pastor Keion snapping his fingers brazenly and saying, “Hush. Stop her. Silence in the name of Jesus.” Viewers took to social media in response with an overall consensus that the situation could have been handled more graciously.


Earlier this week, the Lighthouse Church of Houston Senior Pastor visited the Tamron Hall Show and defended his response. He explained he and church staff had previously addressed the member about her noise. ”Every suggestion that I got from every naysayer, I’ve already done. This is a four-year battle. She did it publicly after being asked not to,” he said. “As a pastor, I know the difference between disturbance and worship. What people have to understand is every time you hear a noise in church, it isn’t worship. There has to be order.”


What is worship?

So, what is “worship”? How can one distinguish it from “disturbance”? And how can we maintain “order” in a worship setting while not stifling the full expression of praise from those present?

By definition, worship is the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity. Historically, worship is expressed differently across denominations, cultures, religions, and regions. In the Pentecostal church, for example, loud, vibrant praise and speaking in tongues is common, while in the Catholic church solemn hymns and quiet prayers are part of the ordinary experience. In a southern Black church, regardless of denomination, you will likely witness the dance style “shouting,” and in a Christian contemporary setting you’ll often see churchgoers singing along to songs one would include in an alternative rock genre.

No matter the worship style — quiet, audible, tongues, uncontrollable, shouting, etc. — or the Spiritual gifts at work — teaching, prophesying, speaking in tongues, etc — “everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way,” as Paul states in 1 Corinthians 14:40. “Order” is determined by the context of the setting.

A “disturbance” in any of those settings would look different but, ultimately, would interrupt the flow of the corporate worship occurring.

Worship is a matter of the heart and in order to identify if someone is faking it or not you have to discern it by the Holy Spirit. Whether one expresses their worship in loud outcries or low mumbles, what’s most important is they do so “in Spirit and in truth” as Jesus stated in John 4:24. Meaning, worship should be humble and sincere, “for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks.”


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Humility in Worship: What Does Worship Really Look Like?  was originally published on