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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Finding Common Ground with Encouragement

Please welcome back Peter Kihyun Park, co-laborer of the Multicultural Worship Leaders Networkwho serves in Minneapolis, MN.

Since 2005 I’ve had the privilege and honor of being part of the multicultural worship movement.  I started with Cross Cultural Evangelical Church and moved on to Aldrich Presbyterian Church and, now, I’m part of the Brazilian Church of Hope.  I’ve also met some incredible brothers and sisters through the Multicultural Worship Leaders Network.  It’s been great to connect with those who move heavily involved in multicultural worship.   

In all these different groups there seems to be a common theme to understand context. Whether that means understanding someone’s cultural context or someone’s individual context.   

But what is the purpose of doing this?  Yes, part of this useful information can help us develop worship services that are more relevant for the people represented in our congregation and neighborhood.  Yes, this useful information can even help someone move from ignorance to repentance.  

The core value that I see here is to encourage one another.  And I don’t necessarily mean only from the pulpit or from the stage, although this is an important part of how we express our worship together.   

When we develop relationships with believers from different diverse backgrounds we must strive to appreciate one another on a very basic level.  Recently, I asked someone to help me write a thank you note in Portuguese.  I’ve enjoyed the new foods that I’ve experience at the Brazilian Church of Hope and I wanted to thank the person who leads the food ministry at our church.  The reaction was priceless.  Even though our language ability with one another is limited, gratitude spoke loudly.   

I’ve also sent thank you notes to the pastors at the Deaf Life Church here in St. Paul.  I’m forever grateful to them as they’ve located interpreters for me whenever I’ve visited and welcomed my family as well.  

Another example is that I’ve gotten in the habit of asking ministry leaders how I can pray for them.  Whether it was an African American ministry leader or Hmong pastor they always seem to appreciate it.  A lot of expectations are placed on those who lead and it’s more rare that they’re asked directly how they can be prayed for.  

My point is the midst of understanding context and putting together worship services that reflect our understanding of the diverse church, we all can learn to appreciate and encourage people in ways that transcends culture.   

I want to ask you to pray about some ways you can build bridges of trust through appreciation and encouragement on a personal level.  What ideas do you have?  

Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you. 
2 Corinthians 13:11 
New Living Translation (NLT) 

En fin, hermanos, alégrense, busquen su restauración, hagan caso de mi exhortación, 
sean de un mismo sentir, vivan en paz. Y el Dios de amor y de paz estará con ustedes. 
2 Corintios 13:11 
Nueva Versión Internacional (NVI) 

 И последнее: прощайте, братья и сёстры, стремитесь к совершенству, делайте то, о 
чём я вас просил, будьте единомышленниками, и тогда Бог, источник любви и мира, 
будет с вами. 
2­е Коринфянам 13:11 
Russian New Testament: Easy­to­Read Version (ERV­RU) 

Sa katapusan, mga kapatid, paalam. Maging ganap kayo, magkaroon kayo ng lakas ng 
loob, magkaisa kayo ng pag­iisip. Mamuhay kayo ng payapa. At ang Diyos ng pag­ibig at 
ng kapayapaan ang sumainyo. 
2 Mga Taga­Corinto 13:11 
Ang Salita ng Diyos (SND) 


  1. Christena ClevelandJune 10, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    Thanks for this, Peter! You've been such an encouragement in my life. Thank you so much!

  2. What a blessing Peter is to the world!

  3. She led such good work. We are much indebted to her!


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