What is the foundation for multicultural worship?

A diverse group of young United Methodists.

How do we welcome into our worshiping community the growing numbers of young people with cultural backgrounds different from our own? (A UMNS photo by Shalom Agtarap)

Last week I suggested having a monthly worship time utilizing the gifts of all the diverse peoples in a community. What would that look like and how would it come about?

First, one needs a team of people to guide this that would include many persons from the various parts of the community one seeks to reach. A good place to start would be the leadership teams of the various existing worshiping congregations in the community. The people on the new team need to be committed to the idea of being God’s community together, utilizing the shared gifts of all.

My vision is not of rotating which cultural group is taking lead. It is not to be worship in the Hispanic tradition one month, an Asian tradition the next, and the Euro-American tradition the third month. Rather, multiple traditions, and even languages, need to be woven together so that all God’s people celebrate the glory of God’s creation.

Sure, there will need to be some variation month to month to engage the different traditions in each part of the service, but care must still be taken that all parts connect to the whole as in any typical worship service. The primary purpose of this time is not to highlight the many cultures, but to worship God. If combining specific items becomes a detriment to worship, then please end that particular combination.

There are reasons worship has remained segregated for many years even as the United States has become more diverse and integrated.  Nevertheless, I believe we can find a way to worship together. We must explore that possibility through attempts at putting it into practice. A monthly service, separate from normal worship times would allow for the building of a multicultural worshiping community without disrupting already existing experiences.


One thought on “What is the foundation for multicultural worship?

  1. Pingback: Jan Paron

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s