Monday, March 1, 2010

united we stand...

Sometimes as Americans we have a chip on our shoulder when it comes to the way we do church. Oh, don't deny it. It's true. We show off our fancy sanctuaries with the best lighting and sound board. The comfortable chairs with lumbar support. The best worship leaders with the low cut v-necks and fitted denim. Yes, we do church just fine in the good ol' USofA.

Or do we?

I walked into the sanctuary and worshipped with brothers and sisters from Mavuno Church in Uganda as part of Mariner's Global Outreach weekend. As vibrantly colored shirts and dresses swayed alongside their American counterparts, I stood in complete awe of how two cultures came together so succinctly to worship the same God.

Not the God of the United States of America, but of the United Hearts of the World. While we sang loudly and moved unabashedly, God became unilaterally nonpartisan. The God of you and the God of me became the God of we.

Pastor Muriithi shared his heart and vision for the people of Africa. Seated in the beautiful sanctuary with comfortable chairs with lumbar support, I realized that maybe, just maybe, we aren't the only ones with the right way to do church. The soft spoken words oozed like sweet honey from the heart of Muriathii. Our vision, he said, is to turn ordinary people into fearless influencers. I'm an ordinary person who is appropriating this vision, mission, and motto for life.

To steal American verbiage, I can earnestly say united we stand. Together we will not fall.


Laurel said...

We attended church for 6 weeks in Ghana, West Africa. Them peoples know how to worship!!!

There was a notice in their bulletin ... they were raising funds to send a missionary to the U.S. Yep ... they were.

We LOVE it ... even when the pastor spoke another language. Sunday school was in English ... worship was in 1/2 English and 1/2 Ga ... sermon was usually in Ga. Pretty cool!

Mama D.

Jennifer Lebron said...


"Our vision is to turn ordinary people into fearless influencers."

When you look at our lives, our Americanized way of thinking, we worry about this month's bills, rent, work--we live in worry and fear.

Being a fearless influencer means looking beyond yourself and your means.

Whoa. That was so blessing. Thanks Bianca!!

Ana Sofia said...

I know you are incredibly busy but I would so appreciate it if you could put a pint-sized post-it on your wall for me if even for a day. I really want to be who God wants me to be. I struggle with having a rebellious, selfish, prideful, and envious heart. I just want to serve the Lord. I really need God to work on my heart so because I no longer want to be ashamed of the Gospel( mainly explicitly sharing God's WORD) and I want to share Jesus with people in a practical and real way. I no longer want to be a person who "divides and subtracts" but who God uses as He "multiplies and adds."

Pretty please.

Thank you.

Annie said...

"turn ordinary people into fearless influencers"

OOOOOO! Me like! Seems like being ordinary is a GOOD thing! HA!

the BLAH BLAH BLAHger said...

This was a seriously AMAZING service!!! What joy they had in worship...and what a huge reminder it was to me to exude joy when I'm praising God!

Katee Grace said...

what a wonderful vision and call to us as believers!
we are called into the light for His purpose and for His people worldwide... love this post.
happy monday Bianca!

katee grace

christy said...

that's awesome...yeah coming from a church that has pretty conservative worship, it's hard to feel comfortable when u wanna dance or be loud....or you get so used to it, that when you visit a church that's a little more charismatic, it feels weird...but I agree...we can't be the only country that does church right...

That vision is one we should all adopt:)

Bianca said...

I totally want to go visit Uganda now. It was truly amazing. If doors open up, I'm there in a heartbeat :)

@Ana Sofia: Yes, I will be praying for you!!!

His Jewel said...

Thank God ALL of our worship to the Lord is precious in His sight! I believe it's not just Uganda but everywhere worship to our Savior is beautiful because it's different or unlike ours.

When I went on a missions trip to Cuba, their worship was AMAZING and it went on forever. Chris Tomlin also said at his concert that worship in Brazil was AMAZING and went on all night long at his concert. They didn't want to leave and stop worshipping the LORD. I love listening, participating, worshipping the LORD in every country I've been to just like I love watching people Sign at my church. How I would love to worship my God vocally while signing.

P.S. The Retreat was awesome! I learned so much from you and all of the teacher/speakers this weekend. ;) Thank you for the invite! =) I loved being a part of the CCM family!

Anonymous said...

looked like a wonderful worship service!! :)

Jenn said...

I've been thinking about this for some time too! Thank you for sharing this. I appreciate it!!!

Love from Texas...

Anonymous said...

God is really challenging me in this live openly for Christ...especially with my own family who seem so hard to out of reach. About 10 years ago, just before leaving on a mission trip to England, the Lord told me my family was my mission field...while I never forgot the words, I forgot the call...

Then last week, I found myself in a parking lot, preparing my heart to visit my unsaved dad in the hospital. The Lord brought me to 2 Corin 3 (I think...or ch. 4 maybe) where it states we are the letter of Christ, not written with ink, but with the Spirit of the Living by all later goes on to talk about the boldness of speech that we have because we know the glory of God...

In that moment, I remembered what God called me to do...witness to my very own family. Not just to love my dad...but boldly speak truth. Be a witness. To worship Jesus not just in a church (or my minivan!), where its so very easy for me, but on enemy territory...and to simply trust that God can and will use me to influence my family toward Himself...

...fearless influencer, yes, please!

- Melissa

P.S. Africa has been on my heart for SO long...we 'randomly' found a missionary family there to support and I'm vicariously living through them!!!

Faith, Food and Fitness For Real said...

REALLY? You had to bring up Uganda.. See that has been on my husbands heart for a few years now. I sometimes think that he says it to get a reaction out of me.

The more I try to fight the idea of someday going or even praying about it the more it pops up in front of me. From TV, to the news, in a magazine I was reading and even one day on the tag of my sons shirt. I mean like who even reads the tag of where a shirt is made? I guess me that day, what a freak. So today I am still on my spiritual high from the weekend, living through God Will for the day. Singing and Praising Him that no matter where he calls we will go and ERRRRRKKKKK.

I read your blog and you are talking Uganda! Im mean really? Its almost 10:30 and I could have gone to bed but realized I didn't read todays blog! So if you I will go... or maybe consider it perhaps? Umm you might want to add me to your post it wall that I have a open heart :) Good blog by the way!


Kenzie said...

i just have to say that i loooooove your blog! thanks so much for this!!! i think that we can definitely get caught up in where we live or what church we go to....but we all worship the SAME God!!
i love that you mentioned Uganda because it has been on my heart, & i will be there this summer :) God is definitely working through that country!!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin