The evangelical pastor frequently conducts unscientific polls from the pulpit, and the evangelical congregation consistently responds in the affirmative. Common pulpit questions include:
“Who’s glad to be here today?”
“Are you excited about Jesus? I tell ya, I’m excited about Jesus.”
“Anyone here have a heart for [insert guest speaker’s specific ministry]?”
“Who’s ready to lift their hearts in worship for the Lord?”
“Don’t we serve an awesome God?”
“Wasn’t that an incredible call to action?” (said by whichever pastor takes over after the teaching pastor speaks)
“How many people here love God? Let me hear your hands.” (Let me hear your hands is your signal to applaud.)
The worship pastor tends to poll more often than other varieties of pastor. Of all the pastors, he seems to appreciate your response the most. Polling is a way for him to engage the congregation and perhaps banish some stage fright. But it’s possible and even likely that the questions don’t engage the congregation as much as they apply social pressure for them to respond verbally, thereby giving the appearance of engagement. Maybe it’s just as well. Christian culture values appearances. A lot.
It is somehow understood that each question from the pulpit (or from the headset mic, if your church is relevant) only has one acceptable answer. No one ever responds with a “no,” or at least not out loud.