How much responsibility do those leading in praise and worship have to lead worship in a way that is in sync with the members of the congregation? For example, there have been times when we have raised our hands during worship and many in the congregation look at us as though we were aliens.
The primary purpose of leaders is not necessarily to be popular, but to lead. Sometimes this means taking people beyond their comfort zones and into areas where they have never been before.
There is a scriptural precedent for this concept. King David did not take a survey about the acceptability of dancing in praise to God before embarking on such an outrageous act (2 Samuel 6:14, 15). He simply did it. The people saw his obvious love for the Lord. Later, at the dedication of the temple, Solomon knelt in prayer on an elevated platform (2 Chronicles 6:12, 13). It seems obvious that the purpose of the platform was not so Solomon could be a few feet closer to God. It was so the people could see him kneeling in prayer. He wanted to be an example of a leader who humbled himself before God. Today, also, Christians need examples of true worship being expressed to the Lord.
Several years ago there was a young woman in our church whose countenance and mannerisms during worship expressed an undeniable love for God. Her adoration for her Savior was extremely obvious. Knowing that she had a good singing voice, I invited her to become a part of our music ministry. I explained that more than needing her voice, I wanted the congregation to see what it’s like to be so passionately in love with God.
Good examples—role models—can play an important part in people understanding various aspects of life. This is true also for praise and worship. If people look at you strangely when you raise your hands, just keep it up. Some day, because of your example, they too may influence others to be more expressive in their worship to the Lord.