I was in the Parent’s Room at Quest this morning, chatting with a family from Tanzania who have come to the U.S. to study. As their two and a half year old son played, the father marveled at how many people were sitting in service. He shared of his experience performing concerts at churches around Europe (he’s entering a PhD program in ethnomusicology), where people didn’t come to church on Sundays, but only for special events. He wondered if having people actually come to Sunday worship was typical here in the United States.
I shared that many people choose to come to church here, but some churches are much like the European cathedrals he visited: empty. As he shared about the two services needed for the small church in his home village, we struggled to find common language, and attempted to explain why people wanted to worship in our respective cultures. I spoke of community, family, and maybe in a culture where we don’t live close to our biological families perhaps we find comfort, support, and a sense of home within our spiritual families. He shared of the worship, the music, and how more and more people have been coming to his home church recently. He also shared a few of the topics he’s usually invited to lecture about outside of music, one of which entailed a philosophical discussion of how people in Africa see God interacting with life. I wonder how we see God interacting with life, and if church is part of that exchange.
Why do you worship? Where do you worship?