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The question comes up every few months. A reader will read a couple of articles I have written on “whooping” and will either ask “Do you have to whoop?” Or will begin attacking the idea that you must whoop.

I am not sure the origin of the idea that I advocate that all preachers must whoop in every sermon or it is not an effective sermon. Neither do I know where some get the idea that I teach that it ain’t Black Preaching if you are not whooping.

Whooping Can Be Valuable

Again, I must clear the air…I believe that whooping can be a valid expression of the emotive dimension of humanity. I believe that we as Black Preachers should be careful of simply dismissing it as “ignorant” or not valuable.

After having said that, the answer to the question is obvious…you do not have to whoop to be an effective preacher. Many good and even great preachers never whoop at all. No don’t fall into the trap of thinking you must do anything to be an effective sermon besides understanding the word, understanding the context in which you preach, and understanding how to deliver that word.

Some Have No Business Whooping

To be honest, some people have no business whooping. Some people’s attempts are so poor that it turns the worship service into a joke. Other preachers are effective in whooping, but do not know how to plan, prepare, or present effective sermons. Those people are simply attempting to use whooping to whip the people up into a frenzy where they don’t care that they have not heard an effective sermon.

Wrong Time Or Venue

Then there are the whoopers who whoop at the wrong place or the wrong time. It ain’t time to whoop during Sunday School. It ain’t time to whoop when you supposed to be announcing the opening hymn.

Don’t go whooping about Jesus being the light of the world when you supposed to be announcing the license plate number of the car that has its lights left on. You laugh, but I hear stories like that from the readers. So it needs to be said. As I noted in the Associate Ministers Training, Do Your Role And Sit Down!!!!

Don’t get me wrong, there are some preachers who have the ability tow hoop, but don’t. That is certainly their perogative as well. There is no requirement!! …I ain’t attempted to introduce one.

Yes some people shouldn’t whoop…If you can’t whoop or you shouldn’t whoop…or it ain’t time to whoop….DON’T WHOOP!!!

11 thoughts on “When It Ain’t Time To Whoop!!!

  1. Another thoughtful, well-constructed article! Keep up the good work Sherman. Soul Preaching is a wonderful ministry and resource for those called into the sacred vocation of ministry!

  2. your article on whooping is so timely.. Let me tell you how timely it was. I was having a discussion with my husband, not 15 minutes before I opened up the email, about the fact that I don’t know how to whoop and if I tried I would not be true to my style of preaching I would feel as though I was faking it and the only reason I would be doing it would be because I want to excite the congregation: It’s not a natural thing for me. Surely it is possible for the Holy Spirit to move me in that direction but unless he does I won’t go. The reason why we were talking about it was because sometimes, i wish i knew how. When I preach, it is more of a Charles Stanley than a TD Jakes. I’m always told by the congregation that they learned so much about the particular scripture and that they are going to use what they are taught but I never see the excitement so I sometimes doubt my ability and sometimes feel I don’t fit in with other African American women preachers. I’ve come to the conclusion that I can only be the best “Minister Braxton” I can be.
    PS I find all your articles very helpful.. Thank you for your ministry

  3. Pastor Frederick D. Harris says:

    Whooping is most effective when it delivered natural, as part of the character and given ability of the speaker which comes with the “Holy Spirit”, and experience. I also agree that, it’s not necessary but when it’s done with the intent to enhance the celebration, it would take the preacher’s message to higher levels, not to entertain, but in its effectiveness. My concern is with the manufactured “Whoop” that is done with little or no attempt to glorify God, but the preacher.

  4. Good Morning, I like the response to the question, The Passion in the belief of GOD is the force that will drive the Whooping. In what ever the style of presentation. In 2 Peter 1:18, WE ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. In other words he’s saying act like you KNOW, That’s how i Preach, Like I KNOW and that Power Takes Over and I follow. The everyday learning of the shorts within us and me, Keeps me Humble, and the understanding of Grace & Mercy is the True strength in the message. People wil hear it and believe it & Follow it. Jesus and the feeding of the 5,000, read it again see how belief will follow. He is saying When you see belief Compassion should take over and we should be willing to go back to work. GOD BLESS, Bro CES.

  5. Vernetia Miller says:

    Elder Cox has previously shared a video of with Pastor E. Dewey Smith speaking on and demonstrating whooping. A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of a live experience of Pastor Smith preaching and he wrecked the room without whooping at all. I share this to add to Elder Cox’s advise about timely whooping: even if you are an excellent whooper, and even if you know when to whoop, you do not always need to whoop.

  6. Great article, this morning on whooping,this is just my opinion but i think whooping is a matter of perception. Some people think whooping is a thing of the past, what the old school preachers used to do at the close of their sermons, and some think if the preacher is educated,and should be advanced in their studies that they should not whoop in their sermons. but if you have that gift to whoop and is whooping under the guidance of the holy Ghost you can’t go wrong when the rest of the sermon is in place. Thanks and be blessed !

  7. Thank you sir.That cleared up a lot of things for me. I am to do what have me to do and equipped to do.Iam teacher and I will stay in my lane. May God continue to bless your ministry real good.

  8. I appreciate all of the comments posted. I am not a whooper. However it has happened and was befitting of the setting. There are some congregations who will not receive it, no matter what. So, I believe we should know the congregation when we go out to preach.

    I have seen and heard ministers preach a sermon and try to whoop when all they were asked to do was bless the food.

    I never got the impression that you were advocating whooping all the time and at any cost. I have learned quite a bit from your training. God bless.

  9. Great article. Whooping is essential some places, but not in every context. I am not a “whooper” per se, but can still pull out my whoop if I need to.

    Very inciteful article.

  10. Pastor Walters says:

    I can appreciate your perspective on whooping and applaud you for advocating its responsible use. Having said that, I personally do not whoop for the primary reason that when certain enthusiastic listeners respond, they disrupt the much needed internal response from those present who are not of this heritage. More and more today I see congregations and services that are multicultural. Given the primary importance that the Word be obeyed and not just heard, I can’t afford to indulge in that liberty. My observation over the years has been too few remember the sermon or its application to their lives when the whoop is good. A healthy amount of uncomfortable silence seems to stirs souls to action on Tuesday afternoon than 58 “Say yes!” choruses.

    Just my humble opinion.

  11. I am one for hearing the word in a teaching style which leaves me full and ready for the next trials coming my way. I have heard many preachers whoop leaving me with nothing to take me into next week. I don’t remember anything but the whoop. When they stand too close to the mike it is only noise and frustration. I have got up and left the service on a few whoopers. Preaching to me is about saving souls, reviving those who have fallen from grace, and to lift up bowed down heads and to be spiritually fed. It is not the whooping that excites me, it is the uncompromised truth. I can shout throughout the day on the Word of God because it will be spiritually motivated and not by men mechanical whooping creating a noisy congregation just to raise an emotional stir.

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