Multicultural Worship

Can You Sing That A Capella? [by Josh Davis]

From the start, one of the values of Proskuneo has been that each ministry event be fresh and Spirit-led. There is such a temptation to simply hit repeat and do the same thing over and over again because it has worked before. It’s easy to keep on doing the same old, pre-packaged thing without seeking God for what He wants and without acknowledging that each day, each season, each congregation is different.

This summer, we had the opportunity to lead worship on three different occasions at Northlake Church of Christ just outside of Clarkston, Georgia. We really treasure our friendships with many of the leaders of that congregation, and we have enjoyed ministering there in the past. We were especially excited when they told us that some of the multicultural, multilingual songs we taught them two years ago have made it into their Sunday morning repertoire. That means that people in their congregation who speak languages other than English get the opportunity to sing to the Lord in their heart-languages. And, that means that the congregation is recognizing in tangible ways that they are able to bring glory to God in diversity and unity. That’s an important part of a healthy Jesus-centered, multicultural worshiping community.

When Northlake gathers on Sunday mornings, they sing a cappella. Each person brings their own instrument to worship—their unique, God-given voice. And, they sing in lots of parts and harmonies together. So, when we led worship at Northlake this summer, we did a lot of a cappella singing. More than we had ever done before. They graciously allowed us to use our instruments some, and we picked songs that would work well without instruments. (Many songs don’t, by the way.) For instance, we sang the song Psalm 117 (recorded here live in Korean) completely a cappella. We stepped out from behind our instruments. (It’s easy to hide behind them, you know!) We were stretched and challenged, because we are used to hearing the chord structures from the instruments to give us our pitches. And, we discovered a new kind of beauty!

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