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Unity, Diversity, and Singing Praise (Sound Worship Series)

October 24, 2011

One of the biggest challenges, and at the same time greatest joys, of East Point Church is seeking unity in the diversity that is our worship every Sunday morning.  It is always interesting to watch those who come from a predominantly white, often times suburban, context as they are stretched to sing songs with more urban, even jazz improvisational, elements to them.  Similarly, it is fascinating to watch those who come from a predominantly black context, with its urban gospel rhythms, get stretched and challenged to sing songs with a more contemporary Christian, or even classical hymnody, flavor to them.

Admittedly, not everyone is comfortable with being stretched in these ways.  The common refrain I hear from both black and white congregants is, “Why do we have to sing that song?” (or something akin to it). If I had a dollar for every time I heard that line, East Point Church would have a campus the likes of which would make Creflo Dollar envious.

Though getting us to see the beauty of serving each other by stepping out of our selfish comfort zones is not easy, it is nevertheless full of joy and great reward.  It is a delightful, joy-filled experience to see those who would not normally sing John P. Kee or Fred Hammond finding themselves rejoicing with those brothers and sisters for whom such music is the norm.  And how eternally rewarding it is to witness the happiness of those, who would not normally sing Red Mountain or Sovereign Grace music, finding themselves rejoicing with those brothers and sisters for whom such music is the weekly expectation.

As the Sound Worship Conference draws closer, I am reminded that our worship on Sunday is a reflection, a microcosm, of our worship day-to-day.  Our day-to-day worship is reflected not only in our love for God but also in our love for each other (Rom. 12:10-11).  It is our willingness to put the interest of others before our own (Phil. 2:4).  In fact, we serve God best, not when we seek to serve ourselves, but when we find joy in serving others.  There is no better opportunity to demonstrate this aspect of worship than during our weekly corporate gatherings, where we seek to find unity in our diversity expressed in singing His praise.

The theme of the Conference Series is: “Promoting Gospel-saturated, Gospel-exalting worship music in the culturally- and ethnically-diverse Body of Christ.”  At EPC, we don’t pretend to have it all figured out.  Our life together continues to be wrought with challenges.  Nevertheless, by God’s grace we are also experiencing the joys of singing God’s praises together.  We invite you to join us this coming weekend.  It promises to be both challenging and joy-filled.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 18, 2011 12:19 pm

    Amen, brother!!!! We wrestle with the exact same concerns every single week in our church, which is located near metro-Detroit. Our church is quite diverse ethnically, and growing more so each year, for which we are thrilled. I would love to come to your conference some time, and have our worship folks attend as well. Lord bless you!

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  1. Unity, Diversity, and Singing Praise (Sound Worship Series) « East … | Harp and Bowl Worship

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