So today I wanted to share a bit of my experience this past weekend.
Since the past year and a half, we have worked on becoming more of a bilingual church (spanish and english). I think it all started when we visited a shelter in buffalo, we thought about the people who could cross the border and could come to our church and we needed to minister in services in a way they could comprehend! So we started to incorporate a bit of english songs here and there. Than one our youth members married a lovely young girl who doesn't understand a whole of of spanish - just yet! : ) So that also moved us to incorporate even more english into our service and also to buy some translating aids. Now I can't say we've completely converted to bilingual, it can be a bit challenging when you've been a hispanic church for 25 years, but we are slowly but surely moving towards this new stage God wants us to be at. We've had a few new comers who only understand english and the world tells us to REACH the world, so we must ensure their meets are met too.
With all of that being said, as a music minister, changing what you've been singing for the past 11 years, can sometimes be challenging! I can tell you that at first I felt nervous about singing in English, not because I don't like it, but because I think as humans sometimes we can be resistant to change and to get out of our comfort zones and do something we've never really done. Also, I felt the pressure of making sure I was ministering to both language speakers! lol...But with time I've become more comforterable with singing in English and the congregation (even if some only understand spanish) is becoming more comforterable with the changes.
However, this passed weekend was a bit challenging because we had 2 new families come our church and one only spoke spanish and the other only english! So what do you do?!?! You want their first experience to be amazing for them and that they feel that their needs can be met in this church! So I did my best to incorporate both english and spanish in all of the song choices. I realized during the worship that Gods presence speaks every language (of course)!!! We sang in both languages and God just started moving during the worship. I could see both families get into the worship and the rest of the congregation as well, they were being touched by Jesus. And once I felt that everyone needs were being met, I said, thank you Jesus for showing up! Phew, the pressure is off.
I'm thankful for this new season and the challenges God allows us to go through to make us better for His glory. Sometimes we get too comforterable in one place, God has to do that, so that we complete the purposes He has in our lives.
I dream of the day where we have to do 3 services, one for the "english congregation" and one for the "spanish congregation" and one "completely bilingual". - Hey it doesn't hurt to dream, with Jesus, anything can happen!