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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Slow down…put on your Biblical Lens

Please welcome guest author Peter Kihyun Park, co-laborer of the Multicultural Worship Leaders Network, who serves in Minneapolis, MN.

“Why” is more important than “how”
Whenever I have the opportunity to teach about multicultural worship I always try to caution, those attending, against focusing too much on the outward changes, whether you’re just starting out or been in it for a while. The reason is that, at least in my church experience, we quickly focus on “how” to do something versus “why” we’re doing something.

This may be the reason why we see so many different trends go through the church.

My Journey at Aldrich Presbyterian Church 
Back in 2010 I was searching for a worship leader position. I wasn’t bringing in an income at the time and I needed a job. Aldrich Presbyterian Church was the first church, at least that I’ve seen in Minnesota, that was specifically looking for a multicultural worship leader.

The interview process was fairly quick. I think I met with the search committee, lead worship one Sunday, and got a call back within a week and a half.  And it was in that interview process that I said I’d be coming to train the worship, not just lead songs that were “multicultural.” We needed to know why multicultural worship was resonating with this church, otherwise we’d soon be looking for another project to work on in a few years.

So, when I officially came on board the worship team started doing devotionals together. I remember studying Jonah and digging into the reasons why Jonah seemed so resistant to God’s direction, which in part was racial. I remember studying Colossians 3 and Ephesians 5 where we see a specific call to sing in different styles…maybe even different languages, as we read about Jewish and Gentile believers worshiping together.

And I believe it’s because all the work we’ve spent studying Scripture that the congregation has responded so positively to what we’re doing. I can only give credit to God in this matter. Why?

Because when I first came to Aldrich I heard about specific people that were resistant to singing songs in different languages and people who wouldn’t raise their hands in worship unless they were told to.

But the exact opposite has happened. People in the congregation surprise me by dancing, lifting their hands, and giving me an encouraging word about the music on Sunday mornings.

And guess what? There’s a good possibility that the prayer team will be joining the worship team during our devotional time because they have a hunger to understand the Holy Spirit from a Biblical standpoint. Praise God.

My Advice
As you’re making outward changes to your worship and casting the vision for multicultural worship…be sure to slow down and put on your Biblical lens. Make sure your team and the people in the congregation know why multicultural worship is so important. Remind them that this is one of the benefits that we received when Christ paid for our sins, which is unity in a diverse Body.

I’ll leave you with some words from a good friend of mine who said, “Our worship flows from our understanding of who God is.” I can’t echo that enough.

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By Their Strange Fruit by Katelin H is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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