Kicking off a new set of posts teaching about the relevance and importance of multi-ethnic music is Part 1, discussing the challenges of having culturally reflective music in our church body. These challenges are by no means all encompassing, so feel free to add any situations you may have faced within your own church body.
1. There has appeared to be a reluctance on the parts of different cultures to clearly communicate style and genre preferences in some church bodies. At Cornerstone we try hard to be inclusive, asking members of our worship team to propose new songs for worship. Then we act on those proposals. Remember, it’s not what you personally prefer, but what’s best for the body!
2. Communication and relationship building between different cultures. We have found that within each separate culture, the ways and means of communication vary. Take time to learn how to communicate clearly, in the “language” of each culture.
3. Enabling leaders that have the church’s best interest in mind. Sometimes people will want to push their own culture’s agenda, rather than the agenda and vision of the entire church body. Be careful, be mindful. Be sure that the leaders you equip and enable have the best interest of your church in mind, and in heart.
4. Looking to what has been done in other churches. Other churches may have built a highway, but you need to blaze your own trail. All churches are different, and reach different folks. What works in Atlanta will not work in Idaho. Don’t be afraid to lay your hands on the task ahead of you. If God has called you, the anointing will follow.
5. Developing worship leaders that are willing to jump out of the box. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Don’t think that Sunday morning is the most segregated hour of a week in America? You’re fooling yourself. Develop leaders within your worship ministry that aren’t afraid to push the multiracial envelope, that aren’t afraid to learn as they go, that aren’t afraid to hop out of the box that religion has built around them.
Tomorrows post will discuss some of the victories that are to be had in overcoming the challenges we all face. Challenges in creating a church body that changes culture rather than reacting to it. Comments, discussion welcome!