Edited by Frank Fortunato firstname.lastname@example.org
Coordinator, AD2000 Worship and Arts Network
Kola sat at his fruit stand with his eyes fixed ahead while farm workers quietly passed along the dusty road in Andhra Pradesh at dusk. Suddenly, he heard traditional Indian music over a loud speaker. Kola's eyes brightened. There was a Kolata (a traditional dance song with sticks) performance! Kola quickly shut down his shop and rushed to catch up with the others. As the song continued Kola found its message shocking. The song said that no one could achieve salvation through dharma (works of caste duties). When the music ended he blurted out, "No! We must do good works!" Just then a soiled baby crawled up to Sampson, one of the men doing the Kolata. He gently picked up the child and asked, "Can this child wash himself?" "Of course not," snapped Kola. Sampson continued, "Just as this child cannot come clean without his mother's care, you cannot wash away sin. God must do that."
And so continued the ministry of another worker with NATIVE-Nationals Training Institute for Village Evangelism-an organization that trains village pastors and evangelists to plant churches. Among their methods are the use of traditional arts and music. Sampson, mentioned in the story above, is an illiterate villager. His training included 90 days of Scripture memorization, the basic content of the gospel, and how to evangelize and disciple people.
(For security purposes, all references are unidentified)
"We were up on a mountain top, praying and singing. Soon after we got there, a man walked straight up to us, sat down and started playing his flute. We listened for awhile, and then started praying again. The man started chanting and playing the flute as we continued in prayer. About twenty minutes after we started, the man fell silent, then fell back as if he were asleep. The he started crying, still fast "asleep". He was asleep for about an hour. Then, while he was still "out of it," his hand reached out and picked up the flute and he started playing a beautiful song, still "asleep"! Then he put the flute down after playing about thirty minutes. He had been playing the same song over and over.
When we woke him up, he told us his story. He was a follower of the local religion and had come there to disrupt and chant against them as they prayed. Then he said it seemed like a fire came up in his belly, and something left him. Then he said he could not remember what happened next. We explained about the Holy Spirit to him, and he became a Christian right there on the spot! I took the video to a friend of mine and got him to listen to the tune the man had been playing. It is a Christian song of that nation written and used exclusively for worship (not translated from a secular tune). That man had never heard the tune he had been playing, but was playing it beautifully." Truly, our God reigns!
(Reported in the prayer letter of a music missionary working in a very restricted nation in Asia).
More than 200 Turks and foreign tourists participated in the St. Paul's March, April 30-May 4 in Turkey. Delegates sang hymns and worshiped in public while distributing evangelical literature. The schedule included a public worship service and a Christian concert. The event was probably the first openly evangelistic event ever given a government stamp of approval.
Tom Pelton, of Marches for Jesus for the Americas has been describing the Kingdom of God as a party. "We serve a God who chose to reveal Himself through parties. Called feasts or celebrations, they were none the less parties. In fact He is throwing the ultimate party (heaven) and our job, as servants of a party-giving God, is to go out and invite everyone to the party. He wants everyone there. In fact the party doesn't just start in heaven. Jesus made it possible for us to experience a little bit of God's eternal party right here on earth_From every nation, tribe, and tongue, heaven is a gathering of a multitude no man can count. We're beginning to see more of that here on hearth. We've got more to offer than fire insurance from eternal damnation. (Along with) world evangelization let's complete the task of world celebration! Millions have joined in the Global March for Jesus. Millions of others are destined to come and make it even more extravagant. The church can be a bridge for them to walk right into their destiny as part of God's party."
To demonstrate the call to celebrate, the Marches for Jesus have continued into the summer in neighborhoods all across North America. Called "Marches for Jesus ... in the hood" these are celebrations in neighborhoods, not downtown events. With balloons, candy, a picnic in the park, a kind of block party, the celebrations include feeding the hungry, visiting the elderly, and serving people just to demonstrate what God's love is like.
One lively example of the monthly neighborhood march in the projects of Atlanta, in the USA. A sound truck and a food truck lead the march. Suburban Christians come to spend their Saturday in urban ministry with this inner city church. As they pass by kids come running out of the apartment buildings. Marchers pass out hugs and pieces of candy and carry the children on their shoulders. The tenants come out on porches to watch and wave. They have come to expect these marches in the neighborhood. The March ends in the park in the middle of the complex. A worship band is playing lively music. The most of grills fills the air. Teams go out with care packages of food for residents. Yong people swing the kids in circles and toss footballs. Young and old, rich and poor, black and white, all together. It's more than a picnic. It's the church at its best... loving, sharing, worshiping, and serving. For one Saturday afternoon a month this place known for crime, drugs, and hopelessness, is filled with righteousness, peace, and joy...the Kingdom of God.
(Excerpted from "For Jesus" -the official march magazine, Spring, 1999. For more information: email@example.com
Among the "bridges" that God's people have used to reach into a people group has been the arts, including music. Missions statesman Don McCurry has told countless stories of the ways music and the arts have opened up opportunities for the gospel in various Muslim areas. This has led to Don adding a new module to his summer missionary training courses preparing furloughing missionaries for ongoing Muslim evangelism. This new course, called "The Use of Music in Muslim Evangelism" premieres August, 1999 in Colorado Springs. Missionaries attending this one-week course will sit under the teaching of both missionary practitioners using music in their church planting, as well as Christian ethnomusicologists who bring their field experience into the classroom.
For more information on future courses contact Don McCurry firstname.lastname@example.org.
Traditionally God's people have been known as the people not just of "one" but of "two" books, the Bible and the hymnal. In a people group in Guatemala, as a result of the newly translated New Testament and Scripture tapes in the local language churches are being strengthened. When the pastor cannot get to the service to teach the people, the congregation still meets for worship. The people get spiritually fed from the reading of the Scriptures and the singing from their hymnbooks.
(Excerpted from Janurary 1999 Insider. http://www.wycliffe.org)
Denise Weber, working at a well-known church in New York City has compiled a list of multicultural hymns, as well as multicultural worship and liturgy resources. Hymnals mentioned come from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Oceana. There is a huge listing of Spanish language materials. Go to
Click here for information on subscribing to the Global<> Worship Report.
Back to the Worship & The Arts Network Home Page
Back to the AD2000 Home Page