Multicultural Worship

Worship Experience or Community?

Back in August, Royce and I had the chance to spend a few days with some other multi-ethnic worship leaders from all over the country. We gathered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, hosted by Pastor Chuck Steddom at Bethlehem Baptist Church and spent 3 days collaborating with each other to write multi-ethnic songs for the multi-ethnic Body of Christ to use in worship. Throughout the time together, we spent time in worship, in prayer, and in God’s word…and several random thoughts jumped out at me…

[Chuck Steddom to other multi-ethnic worship leaders] “Get comfortable wearing Kevlar.” In other words, be prepared for the battles…they will happen. Move towards discomfort. Step into the pain. This is not the path of least resistance.

[I Cor. 1:10] “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.”

but the question that has haunted me most was shared by my brother, Jaewoo Kim of King’s Region Worship Community. “As worship leaders, do we want to develop worship experiences, or a worshiping community?”

What matters to you more…that the guitar player plays all the right licks? or that he is united in heart with the other members of the band?

…that people leave church saying, “worship was awesome today!” or that they leave church connected to the people around them?

…that your worship team is excellent musically, or that they truly worship GOD throughout the week on their own, and that Sunday is just a time for their hearts of worship to overflow?

Of course, it is possible to have both musical excellence and true worship. But, I promise…as a worship leader, you will have the opportunity at times to choose between unity and musical excellence, between talent and true worship, between pleasing people and connecting people, between people and product. What you choose determines what you value most.

It is interesting to me that Jesus Himself said that GOD is not looking for worship, but for worshipers. (John 4:23) What are your thoughts?

9 thoughts on “Worship Experience or Community?

  1. Our conversation during that event has changed my perspective a lot on what it means to be a worship leader/pastor. People have said, “Worship was great today” and it’s something that I actually have a hard time listening to. I think, but have never said, “What about worship was so good today?”

    I am thinking and praying more about how to encourage to shift of worshipping not only on Sundays, but the rest of the week.

    1. Eileen, we are having a similar gathering next week in Minnesota. This one however is more relationship and discussion focused. The best way to connect right now is to join an e-newsletter list of Multi-ethnic Worship Leaders/Pastors (let me know if you are interested and I will sign you up!) and/or to join our group on facebook. If you friend request me on facebook, and remind me, I can send you an invite to our online community! It’s a great place to encourage and resource one another…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *