Multi-ethnic Worship [What does God desire?]
Multi-ethnic worship is not a new technique for reaching people from diverse backgrounds. It is not merely a response to the global migration that is happening at a staggering pace. It does not mean catering to the comfort zones and heart music of the people in our congregations.
It is bigger than us…our preferences, our grooves, our desires, our music, our ways. It is more than hands folded or hands raised, fast or slow, loud or soft, active or still.
Many times as we approach the subject of worship, we are asking the wrong questions. What kind of music do they like? What are the felt needs of the congregation? Who is our target audience? In what ways can we best worship God? But, what if, instead, we were to ask the question: What does GOD desire?
Ephesians 5:10 exhorts us to “try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.” Instead of focusing on what is pleasing to us, let’s find out what pleases God. As we look throughout the Scriptures, we see…
God desires the nations to worship Him. The ten commandments begin by proclaiming that God alone is to be worshiped, revered, and adored. Psalm 86:8-9 says, “There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours. All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.” Notice that this text (among others like Acts 17:26) clearly states that God created the nations.
How might the realization that God created the nations affect your perspectives on cultures, ethnicities, and diversity? Secondly, in this text we notice that all nations (quite an inclusive term!) will come and worship God. It will happen. It is part of God’s wise plan.
God desires the nations to worship Him together. In Revelation 7:9,10 John gives us a glimpse of heaven. In it, “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… and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’”
As we consider what that must have looked like and sounded like to John, we hear the words of Jesus’ prayer… “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” We don’t know a lot about what heaven is like. But it is clear from Revelation 7 and other passages that there will be multi-ethnic worship in heaven for eternity. I am willing to join my prayer with Jesus’ and work for the rest of my life to see God’s kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven as it relates to multi-ethnic worship. Are you?