Hi everyone, this is Steph and this blog goes out to all of my former worship pastors....Mike, Rob, Dan. Oh, how I do miss you and appreciate you all. You know it's sure easy to find things to complain about in America. What is the number one thing complained about in American churches? I'm not completely sure, but I would be willing to bet that worship is right up there. Are you guilty? I know I have been at times. I am writing to tell you all to go give your worship pastor a hug and tell him/her that they are doing a wonderful job and that you appreciate them very much! Mike, Dan, Rob, you guys are awesome!!! How I wish you could come to Africa!
So, I was under the false impression that coming to Africa would mean some great worship. It's hard to even try to put into words what it is like. I'll tell you about two experiences. Our first Sunday here in Lusaka we attended a middle class Zambian church. I was surprised to find that they sang all hymns in English. I really like hymns so it was fun for me to sing some familiar songs, I was just surprised by the lack of enthusiasm. They sang with great volume but were very stoic, and well, the piano and the piano player left MUCH to be desired.
In the compound churches the worship is quite different. It usually involves a keyboard with a nice background drum beat going on full blast.(Grandma Kress, you definitely would not like this!) Instead of English they are singing in Nyanga, not hymns but African songs. This past Sunday as we were led into the church that Steve was preaching at they put us in the front row. Sitting right in front of me was the keyboard. Then, the came in and moved us motioning that the pastor needed to sit in front of the keyboard. He asked me if I played and told him that I did but having been to previous compound churches I knew that I wouldn't know any of the songs and that they wouldn't have any music for me. Well, worship started and they handed out words to an American contemporary worship song that we all knew. They started off with the drum beat and then the two ladies (song leaders) up front began to sing with gusto. Then the pastor/keyboard player began to try to experiment with all sorts of different chords. I think that he played every chord there is by the time the song was over. So much for choosing a key. It wasn't long before the drum beat was completely off from the beat of where the ladies were and I was doing all I could to try not to bust out laughing. Every time I looked at Steve and saw his little smile at the corner of his mouth I almost lost it. I was wanting so badly to go and relieve the piano player, to tell him that I could play the song in the key that it was written in, but I figured that might be a little disrespectful.
I was soooooo bummed that Steve didn't have his I-pod on to be able to share this experience with you.
So, all that to say, we would love it if you would pray for us next time you are tempted to complain about the worship service at your church, because we are really hungry for worship that we can participate in. Sing with passion, and enjoy worshipping the Lord in your own language, and please don't complain!