Multicultural RelationshipMulticultural Worship

Patronizing vs. Honoring

From time to time, I try to let some of the things I teach and share at conferences and workshops overflow to this blog. This past week, I had the opportunity to teach and lead worship at the Calvin Worship Symposium in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I taught on:

  • “Multi-ethnic Worship: More Than Just Global Songs”
  • Worshiping in Solidarity With the Persecuted Church
  • Multi-Ethnic Worship Planning: Why’s and How’s
  • From Generation to Generation (a conversation about the generational divide in the Hispanic-American church)

One of the questions I received from Multi-ethnic Worship leaders and planners is a common one. I thought I would take a moment to post my perspective here.

Question: What to you is the difference between valuing/honoring a culture and patronizing it? In a word, I would say relationship. If I were to choose one thread that is woven throughout all the classes I taught last week, it would be this:  “Worship leaders, we must be connected to our people.” We can’t be disconnected from the people on our team or from the people in our congregations because it’s through relationships that passport is built and trust is established. And so, when I call my Korean brother up on the stage to lead in prayer, he knows my heart. He knows we’ve prayed before, just him and me, where he’s prayed in Korean and I’ve prayed over him in English. And so, that relationship is already there and so it doesn’t feel odd or that he’s being exploited. It’s just an extension of our relationship, then, with the rest of the congregation. I think I can’t highlight that enough… relationships are important.

What’s your perspective?

3 thoughts on “Patronizing vs. Honoring

  1. Josh! this is awesome. Thank you for posting. I agree 100%. I would also add, that Intention/Motivation is also the difference. And this is something internal that only we and Jesus really know. (Often…Jesus has to reveal it to us! haha) Only we will know if we are planning worship for quotas and not consideration.

    Glad you are spreading the goodness of MEW! 🙂

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