I have been brewing this blog for a while. It is one of those opinion posts that I sometimes live to regret.
Multi-cultural worship is something I hear Christians talk about a great deal. On one level I think the idea is awesome and on another level it kinda bugs me (something that bugs me? Surprise!).
At CCM we have a very ethnically diverse church. We have people from Poland, Nigeria, Italy, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Sudan, the UK and a whole bunch of places I cannot remember. We often try to Worship in ways that reflect the culture of all the different nationalities, although everybody is keen to worship regardless of cultural or musical genre. So we use a few different languages and try to be imaginative where we can. Our worship leaders and musicians work hard and I am a big fan.
I am a big fan of churches adopting musical styles to meet the cultural needs of different ethnicities that may be represented in the church. If it helps them feel like they are valued members of the community then I am up for it. I can almost get my head round using styles of worship to reach out to ethnic groups that aren’t currently part of that church, although if that ethnic group doesn’t even exist in the churches locality I am not sure what the church is expecting to happen.
However there seem to be very few British churches who talk about using different styles from within our own culture. There is little use of music from popular (or unpopular culture). Is this due to the fact that the worship leadership scene is dominated by the white middle classes, and is also largely male and middle aged? Or is to do with the fact that church leaders feel uncomfortable pushing there worship leaders to view musical styles as a mission opportunity?
More to follow…