I wanted to write a post about worshipping in a different language and a different culture, and what I am going to say about it is probably a little different than what you would expect. If you are a member of a church that sends people out on short-term mission trips, then you have been a part of a “testimony” service before. If you have not, what this means is that many churches, when a team arrives home from a trip to another country, have a time in their service for those who went on the trip to share about their experience. Almost inevitably, someone will talk about the incredible experience they had worshipping with brothers and sisters who speak a different language and do church a different way because of their culture. Many people even describe the freedom that these people have, and how different their worship is. Please don’t think that I am saying that you shouldn’t say that. All of those things are true, and after a few trips here, I felt and said all of those things. They are good, legitimate feelings.
Here is the problem…Just like everything else, we sensationalize 1 experience we have and we allow it to lessen our view of our home church. The funny thing is, if you are like me and you always worship in a different culture and different language, you immediately see how wonderful it was to be able to worship GOD and understand what people are saying. You think about how few distractions there are when there are fewer babies than adults in a service and people are not constantly crying and standing up and sitting down. You long for the days when services are less than 3 hours and there is a not a time in the middle of the service when anyone who wants can stand up and sing a solo. You reminisce about the times when you sat in air conditioning rather than 95 degree weather. And most of all, you think about the wonderful fellowship and worship you had with people you truly understood, singing songs that you knew were lifting up your Savior, and hearing a message that helped to ground you in the Word of GOD.
After hearing all of this, you are probably wondering why I am complaining so much about a culture I love and a church that I desperately want to experience revival. I understand that sooner than later, I will be able to speak the language and I will begin to understand the culture and I long for that day. Let me get to the point…
Cherish your church, the fellowship you have with other believers, and the genuine worship that is available to you each week!
Every time we go back to the states, I am reminded of how wonderful worship is and can be. I wish it wouldn’t have taken moving to a different country to realize how wonderful it is to worship my Savior that way, and I hope that this can awaken in you a passion for your church and for genuine worship that can change your life. I also hope that this helps you to not take the opportunities you have to worship for granted. Trust me, if they were not there, you would miss them, so don’t let yourself miss them when you are!