On Sunday afternoon I met with a leader from our church over coffee and our conversation turned to an upcoming sermon about worship. This African American woman and I discussed the many different levels of complexity when it comes to worship in a multi-ethnic church. She pointed out some of the generalizations that are often made about the worship preferences of different cultures and ethnicities; I wondered about the potential for spiritual formation when we submit to forms of worship that are not initially comfortable. As we left the coffeeshop I mentioned how grateful I am to belong to a church community that expects these kinds of discussions, questions, and sermons.
In fact, I’ve come to take these conversations for granted though they are probably rare for most pastors and churches. Despite the many challenges of a young, diverse church, such conversations – and their applications – are surely one of our greatest gifts. Pastors and church leaders who serve in less diverse circumstances must look elsewhere for the theological agitation that is necessary for forming churches that faithfully reflect Gospel reconciliation.
Thankfully, the upcoming Mosaix Multi-ethnic Church Conference will provide one such forum. With sessions on theology, church planting, sociological trends, best practices, and more and with seasoned and competent leaders like John Perkins, Choco DeJesus, Michael Emerson, and conference organizer Mark DeYmaz, the conference will be full of thoughtful information. But as I look at the list of speakers and consider who else will be attending I know that it will be the conversations, like the one this past Sunday, that will make those days in Long Beach so fruitful.
The conference is November 5-6 so you’ve got plenty of time to register.
One thought on “2013 Multi-ethnic Church Conference”
“…discussed the many different levels of complexity when it comes to worship in a multi-ethnic church. ”
Perhaps you should add to the end of that sentence, “where worship is driven completely from the front and the worship leaders who pick everything and are the only ones who make personal expression to the saints.”
Yes, this is complex in many dimensions and that is to be expected when God has specified for us the exact opposite for the gathering of believers.
Notice the verbal /heart participation from “each one” and “addressing one another”.
“When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching…” 1 Cor. 14
“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, …” Eph. 5
When we follow traditions that have rejected what it means to be members of the body of Christ and what it means to be filled with the Spirit, you will find the saints functioning as an alternative identity and filled with probably the flesh. As pretty as it sounds and as warm as it feels and as touching as it may be said to be, it can still all be the flesh when we fall short of God’s design for Spirit filling and body function. When multi-ethnic people are equipped to be direct participants, drivers of the worship, you will automatically get multi-ethnic content, attitude and spirit. No complexities.
This every-believer-a-worship-leader is not easy to pull off since we all wrestle with the flesh and are frequently lazy to not prepare for gathering to worship.
Do you understand any of this or is this a paradigm shift to great to consider?