Some people either hate it when preachers whoop or they love it. There seems to be no in between. According to soulpreaching.com, it usually can be spelled “hooping” or “whooping.” Unfortunately, some people think a preacher has not preached if he or she has not whooped at the end of the sermon. Others look down on whooping as problematic.
Whooping is a loud cry or shout to express enthusiasm and excitement. It is done when the words of the preacher begin taking on a musical quality. The preaching actually blends into musicality. Preachers say whooping helps them celebrate the gospel in sermons. They also say, "Whooping is the gravy and not the meat of the sermon." They emphasize that some solid content must come before the whoop. Good preachers know that whooping can never cover up for the lack of a full sermonic meal.
When a preacher whoops, his voice becomes melodic. He pants between phrases, unleashes a scream or two and stretches single syllables to the max. Most of the time, the preacher says the same thing on all occasions when he is whooping. So congregants know what he is going to say before he says it.
People make the mistake of thinking that all black men preachers whoop. That is not true. Some black preachers don't whoop at all. Some women whoop and some white men and women whoop. A good example is Paula White, a white woman. While whooping is common in some black churches, it is not present in all black churches.
Whooping preachers fail to remember that Jesus never whooped, and neither did Peter who preached the first sermon according to Acts 2:14-41 when 3,000 people were saved on the Day of Pentecost. Both Jesus and Peter got their point across without whooping.
Some people frown upon whooping because they cannot understand the words. Also, they feel like they are being yelled at. If the truth be told, those who like whooping get caught up in the moment without knowing what the preacher is saying. Usually the people are on their feet, clapping, shouting and singing praises.
Here is an example of what a preacher saying when he whoops. "Every time I think about the goodness of Jesus. My soul, Ha! Cries out. My souull, Ha! Cries out. My sooouuulll, cries out!" The preacher might hit the pulpit, strut across the floor, kick up his legs, hold a microphone to his mouth, twirl his handkerchief in the air several times before mopping sweat from his brow. He continues, "He's my wheel, Ha! In the middle of the wheel, Ha! I can't see him, but I can feel him I. I got fire!""Aaaaahh! Fire!" Watch the video above to see an example of whooping.
One pastor taught against whooping and gave an example of people shouting about what they thought the preacher was saying about God and His goodness. Instead, the preacher was saying, "Cheese Ha! Burgers Ha! Cheeeeeessseee burgersssss, Ha! Cheeseburgers taste! Cheeseburgers Ha!
They taste so good!" Even those the congregation doesn't understand what was said during the whooping, that doesn't keep them from standing on their feet, clapping as loudly as they can and shouting all about a cheeseburger tasting good. Then when they get home they can't even remember what the preacher preached.
This writer who is a preacher believes a lot is lost during whooping. Sure, the preacher is edifying himself, but he is doing a missing a valuable opportunity to speak clearly to a waiting congregation who has come to hear the word of God. Whooping on a Sunday morning fails in comparison to clearly the word of God to people who needs it during the midnight hour when they are tossing and turning over a problem they have. Whooping doesn't help them at all. However, the word of God could help tremendously.
Traditionally, older preachers whoop while the younger ones are beginning to become word preachers because they realize that the word and not whooping is what is going to help people get saved. Romans 10:17 says, "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God" and not by whooping during a sermon.
Some people love whooping, but remember nobody ever got saved from hearing a preacher say, "Cheeseburgers taste good!"