I write this blog on a plane flying from San Salvador to San Francisco. No connecting flights. One plane ride and a handful of hours will take me from one world to a radically different one.
Over the past days I have prayed with dear brothers and sisters in Christ in some of the poorest homes in El Salvador, I have danced with children in a humble church in the city of La Libertad (a gang ridden community with over 50% unemployment), I preached (with an interpreter) in village church to people in the remote community of Las Brisas, Honduras, and I sang with a community of passionate believers in an area with 75% illiteracy.
I have learned fresh new things about worship in my travels. Sounds systems, lights, and projection are helpful and valuable, but certainly not essential. Voices lifted in praise to Jesus, in any language, are beautiful. Economic poverty does not mean spiritual poverty. Jesus is present in many expressions of worship including children dancing, pastors singing in the middle of the sermon, teens presenting a drama about King David’s kindness to a family member of his friend Jonathan, guitars played that are not in perfect tune, voices of many praying out load at the same time, and the Word of God preached with passion.
Worship transcends language and binds or hearts together. If we want to increase unity among God’s people, from many traditions, places, and languages, we need to humbly enter their world and join in. I am not really a dancer and the church services I lead and attend don’t normally include dancing (and never with me in the mix). This past week I had two times that a little boy or girl ran over to me during a worship service, took my hand, and invited me out of my chair to join them in dancing during the worship songs.
What was I to do? Refuse these passionate and excited little brothers and sisters? I could not. So, I joined them and I danced for Jesus. I danced with family members I had never met before. I worshiped in fresh new ways.
If you get a chance to try something new in worship, I encourage you to give it a try.