Come, let us sing...
Rehearsal this week was amazing, and I am so looking forward to worship tomorrow! I've been leading worship for a long time, but tomorrow is a day that holds a bit of new territory: we're doing an entire song in Spanish.
It was a challenge, learning a song in a language I don't speak - but it was a ton of fun (and Pedro says I did okay - yay!). It will be a challenge, trying to sum up in the 30 seconds or less I usually take for a song intro, why we're doing it, and coaching our people into the moment. It's new territory for our entire congregation - but it's territory worth entering, and here's why:
1) Singing a song in another language broadens our horizons. It reminds us that the kingdom of God is so much bigger than just our church - His bride is multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and wonderfully diverse. His word says that every tribe and every tongue will one day bow before Him - and singing in another language orients us towards the beauty of that truth.
2) We have families in our congregation whose native language isn't English. They come every week and sing in English, and they do it cheerfully and with abandon - but it's just love towards our brothers and sisters to sing in their languages, too.
3) One of the things Torch wants to be is "simply different" - we refuse to be a holy huddle. We are a church that reaches out, and stays focused on reaching the lost. We're planted in the middle of an area that demographically includes Hispanic families. If we want to be a neighborhood church - the kind of place where people in our neighborhood feel comfortable just walking in, then there need to be elements of how we do things that make it feel like home to our neighbors. Singing some of our songs in Spanish sometimes is a way to do that for some of our neighbors.
Sure, there will be people in our congregation who will find it hard to connect during that particular song. We're going to try to help by singing a song that's familiar and putting the English words on screen along with the Spanish words. But the truth is, there are always going to be songs that we do/don't connect with, and a lot of the time that's dependent on the season we're in or personal taste/preference in music, etc. - and at the end of the day, worship is about the glory of God, not our subjective whims. If we truly desire to worship the Lord, and worship is happening around us in another language - we can connect. We might not understand the words, but we will sense the heart of worship in them - and we can enter into that with our own words or even in joyful, surrendered silence. And there will be other songs that say everything we wanted to say in better words than we could have ever expressed it, and we'll connect then.
So I'm excited. Tomorrow is going to be a breakthrough day for a lot of us, for a lot of reasons - and one of those reasons is that our perspective is going to shift a little. It's going to be amazing. Hope to see you there!