|The All People Band with |
UM Church for All People
We each have our musical preferences—songs with which we enjoy worshiping the most. It’s often (but not always) the music we listened to between the ages 18 and 25, and it’s often what we turn to in our moments of most intimate worship with God.
This music can be termed our ‘heart music’—those songs or styles that quickly and deeply connect us with God. It could be upbeat or meditative, emotional or reverent. You may dance, clap, shout, meditate, or chant. You may repeat phrases over and over to help marinate your soul in their meaning, or you may weave many words into your songs to describe the intricacies of your theology. Your music may emphasize the rhythms, the melodies, the harmonies, or the text. No matter what approach you enjoy the most, it is probably central to how you experience God through worship.
We each have our own unique heart music, but so do each of the people around us. Because we all prefer different worship styles, music can become a barrier to unity within the body of Christ. But music can also be a tool for uniting Christians across cultures and backgrounds.
Psalm 67 proclaims “may the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples with equity, and guide the nations of the earth. May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you.” Could the scripture really mean that we meant to do this in isolation from one another?
When we take the time to learn someone’s music, we express our love for them in a profoundly meaningful way. By worshiping in many styles, we demonstrate our willingness to set aside our own desires for the sake of ushering someone else into the presence of God. We make what scripture calls “a sacrifice of praise” to the Lord (Hebrews 13:15), and it can be a powerful tool in uniting diverse communities of worship.
|Dancing at Coffee House|
Singing in many styles and languages affirms of the multifaceted body of Christ, assisting us in repenting of our divides and ethnocentrisms. It helps us be mindful of friends we may not meet until we are singing together in heaven, and prepares our hearts for that day when “all the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord” (Psalm 86:9).
Multicultural worship music helps us draw nearer to each other. Read on to see how it can also draw us nearer to God...