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Each church needs its own repertoire of songs in which they can express their faith.

How can we do it?

Each church needs its unique repertoire of songs in which they can express their faith. It is important that members and visitors can identify with the music. It needs to become mutual worship, not that one group is worshipping and the other group is watching and then the other way around. God’s glory is being magnified more when the church is doing it TOGETHER and a new shared worship culture is birthed.

Songs2Serve provides:
– resourcing with a database of songs,
– inspiration from a Songs2Serve music band,
– workshops and training for churches,
– coaching for leaders

Relationship is the key factor.

Being an intercultural church means that we have meaningful relationships with one another. It means that we allow each other to bring our whole selves into the community and so bring change to the way the church functions and worships.   

And yes, that can feel uncomfortable sometimes. But as we take careful steps in leading our church into a new repertoire we will discover that the Holy Spirit is using it powerfully. 

A quote from the intercultural worship training video of Jessie Tang, leader of Songs2Serve UK:

“Worship should be fundamentally disruptive: because we turn the focus away from ourselves and back to God. We lay down the kingdom of self for the Kingdom of God. Worship transforms us, it fuels us to love God and love our neighbors.”

The journey of Intercultural Worship requires that you:

  1. Start building friendships with people from different backgrounds in your church and invest in an ongoing conversation about the worship in the church together with your leadership
  2. check out the cultural makeup of your target group (for instance in your area) and the music styles that are popular among the people
  3. check out the cultural makeup of your current church and the music styles that are popular among them
  4. develop a vision as to what would be the ideal situation for your church (not just that which is popular) – do so together with the leadership of the church
  5. check out the current possibilities
  6. make a strategic course of steps to be taken
  7. get to work!

More ideas:

  • Introduce easy, accessible songs at first (e.g. multilingual)
  • Display English meaning as well (to sing or not)
  • Medleys can work well
  • Give known songs a cultural ‘twist’
  • Sunday morning may not be the starting place
  • Introduce it slowly — take easy steps at first
  • Explain why it glorifies God
  • Keep being engaged in meaningful conversation across cultures
  • Come as a learner — avoid cultural pride
  • Be determined — don’t give up easily
  • Enjoy the ride!

If so desired, S2S EU could work together with you to coach you in this process and help you tailor these steps to your context. Contact us for more information.

Usually using songs from the cultures of your church members is much appreciated, for they hear their melody and language and feel at home. An important branch of the work of Songs2Serve is that we have these songs translated into English (or another European language) in a singable format so that we are one step closer to worshipping together. For instance, the whole church now sings the song in Arabic and English! At first, this takes a while getting used to, but after some time the songs become more familiar and then we can all worship together out of our hearts.

 In this way, the identity of the church will become more intercultural. It reduces the ‘us/them’ culture of the ‘host and the guest’.  The ‘guests’ will not feel like guests anymore, but fully respected participants. Visitors will be pleasantly surprised to recognize their language, seekers will become extra curious as to why a church would make so much effort for them.

Songs2Serve is steadily building up a collection of songs through which we help make intercultural worship accessible. 

All for the glory of God!