Multicultural CommunityMulticultural Worship

Practicing Sawubona in Worship [by Jaewoo Kim]

I can remember walking out of a room full of people after a shared worship experience and somehow feeling completely alone.

At that moment I asked myself, “Why do I feel so disconnected from people when I felt so connected to God during worship?”

Perhaps the idea of connecting people in worship is not our priority. But why not? Is it possible that worship is to be an embodied experience, not only for individuals, but also an opportunity for the people of God to practice embodied worship as one body? 

Last year during my visit to South Africa, I learned this greeting from a new friend whom I met there. “Sawubona” in Zulu means “I see you” and it’s how people regularly greet one another. I see you. I recognize your dignity and beauty. You’re worth seeing and deserve my attention.

I immediately felt in love with this greeting and brought it to our Proskuneo worshiping community.

As a worship leader, I intentionally try to create space for people to see each other during worship. Sometimes this means turning all the lights up in a room and forgetting the fancy light settings and the fog machine.

Sometimes it means putting specific words into people’s mouths so they have something tell each other, instead of the superficial “how are you? I’m fine” that we often use. And quite often I enjoy creating a space where people can hold hands in a big circle and see each other. 

What if we create more spaces where people can see, really see each other during worship? How would this seeing shape and form us as the body of Christ?

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