Multi-lingual worship moments for the local community of faith
Corporate worship provides great opportunities to celebrate diversity and unity in the local community of faith. After all, in every Christian worshipping community all over the world, although in different ways, we practice basically the same things we have for more than 2000 years. Consider these six basic underpinnings for Christian worship all over the world:
1. We PRAISE together – we sings songs about God and to God
2. We PRAY together – we offer prayers of confession, petitions, supplication, thanksgiving, etc.
3. We PROCLAIM God’s word together – God’s word is preached and proclaimed in song.
4. We PROVIDE together – we give our tithes and offerings to the Lord for the provision of His work and the needs of others throughout the world.
5. We PARTAKE together – celebrating the Lord’s Table, Baptism and other sacraments
6. We PROCEED together – we depart from our worship community encouraged and full of joy
Consider using these six underpinnings to plan your own multilingual/multicurtural worship experience for your community of faith. Here are a few key scripture passages you might consider incorporating into your special worship service:
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. – Galatians 3:28
Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. – Colossians 3:11
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” – Revelation 7:9-10
Consider these five ideas as you plan your multicultural worship experience:
1. Post flags from countries of the world in your worship space
2. Utilize multilingual songs for both congregation, choir, worship team
3. Enlist multiethnic readers to read key scripture in their native tongue alternately
4. Enlist multiethnic members to pray in their native tongue
5. Divide service into 6 parts, using the 6 underpinnings listed above. Enlist pastor/other speakers to speak to each specific topic alternately
Finally, to keep things in good order and absent from confusion, you will want to provide worshippers with visual or written translations of all that is seen and heard in worship. The goal is to impress upon worshippers that despite our many differences, we are unified as the body of Christ.