Edited by Frank Fortunato firstname.lastname@example.org
Coordinator, AD2000 Worship and Arts Network
"When I first heard the sitar being used to worship Jesus Christ my hair stood on end and my hands tingled. It was drawing out the worship in me...it was like our natural inbred feelings were being released by hearing sounds we have been brought up to relate to. Through this music both parts of our blended culture are being reached."
These were early discoveries made by Asian Ram Gidoomal in learning to relate his Indian background and music to his new home situation in the UK. As the world's cities continue to become melting pots of cultures, Ram, and many other believers like him grapple with the way they should worship in such culturally mixed settings.
This led Ram to form South Asia Concern, (SAC), an outreach ministry based in Surrey, UK. The ministry uses the arts and unique evangelistic approaches to reach the Asian youth as well as disciple Asian believers in the UK. One product that emerged from SAC has become a classic among Britain's Asian community. It's a CD called "Asia Worships" and it blends East and West like few Christian recording to date. Tony Cummings, a well- known British music communicator captured his first reactions to the Asia Worships recording: "Tablas fuse with Flemish bagpipes and synths swirl around sitars in unforgettable landscapes. In an age where the electronic realities of the global village means that the West is coming alive to different cultures and musics like no other one and where God's Spirit is thrillingly beginning to breathe over a whole continent for so long cloaked in spiritual darkness, here is an album to reflect these truths."
Ram picks up the story: "The album was conceived as a means of giving Asian Christians in Britain a culturally relevant worship resource. I found that many young Asian Christians were becoming disillusioned and leaving the Church because they felt completely isolated, no longer Hindu but still Asian, not English or Western. The tracks that resulted featured a blend of British, American, Indian and Pakistani musicians. We then went to London's Kensington Temple (a church with more than 50 nationalities represented) where a choir of Asian Christians from charismatic to orthodox churches came together." The recording has crossed the oceans and is being played globally.
(For more information about the recording Asia Worships-Mukti Dil-Aye: He saves, from Kingsway Music, contact South Asian Concern, PO Box 43, Sutton, Surrey, SM2 5WL, UK).
Over the last twenty years in the European church there has been a slow unfolding trend toward rediscovering the place that creativity and the arts have as a means to worship the Lord, communicate the Gospel, and express the joy of everyday Christian living. In the last decade in Europe new Christian initiatives in the arts have surfaced that are encouraging the church in this ongoing trend. These ministries are fostering a Biblical perspective regarding the arts and encouraging the church to embrace her mandate to be "salt and light" in regards to culture. One example of this is the work of Creative Arts Europe (CAE) which is headquartered at the "Brussels Arts House" in Belgium. Says director Jim Mills: "our primary goal is to encourage the church to be compassionate, relevant and creative in making God known to this generation." CAE mobilizes artists who are Christians to serve in the church in Europe 1) by offering creative workshops in diverse artistic disciplines for all levels of skill stirring up the giftings resident in the church, 2) through organizing training opportunities for up and coming aspiring young artists, 3) through collaborating with local fellowships to run teen arts and creativity seminars preparing the next generation through instilling in them the desire to be effective witnesses (evidence givers) for the Gospel, 4) by forming short term professional dance companies to tour and perform in churches as well as on secular stages, 5) by praying for, counseling, and networking artists, and 6) through providing discipleship opportunities for artists working in the secular arena.
(For more information: email Jim Mills: email@example.com)
"Not only is the Father looking through the earth for worshipers (John 4) but worship itself will become one of the greatest "tools" in bringing the nations of the earth to him. One of the greatest struggles in the spirit realm in our day is the struggle for worshipers. The nations have had worship stolen from them by the prince of the power of the air who was even prepared to give the nations away to be worshiped by Jesus. God is calling for the worship of the nations to be returned to him. Linked with that, peoples are not going to be content with second hand music. They will increasingly want their own. I see several things emerging:
(To contact David Garrat, email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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