the Friday pickle - does worship have a race problem?

Posted by Craig Borlase on 21 June 2013

A couple of weeks ago on our facebook page we posted a link to an article about the strongest worship songs to have emerged so far this year. It was nice article. But it was the comments at the bottom of the page that really caught our attention. Among them there emerged an important debate about the issue of race in worship.

So here's this Friday's pickle: does worship have a race problem?

Perhaps you think that it doesn't. It doesn't mean you're a bigot or in any way racist, it's just that you see sung worship as being a cultural thing. You see that there are African churches (and many of those will be made up of people from a specific country or region), Asian churches, churches for Messianic Jews, churches for charismatic Catholics and many more besides. We are drawn to people who share our experiences of the world, and that's nothing to be ashamed of.

Or perhaps you see it differently. In this world of increasingly connected and diverse cultures, you see the single-colour church as yet another example of our being out of date and out of touch. You agree that sung worship is the meeting place of culture and theology, and it troubles you that while your tv screen displays faces of all different colours, your church does not. Your listen to all kinds of genres made by people from all kinds of backgrounds on the radio, yet your church looks and sounds exclusively white. What's up with that?

Next week we'll post an interview on the subject with Noel Robinson. He's a worship leader. And he's black. He kind of stands out.

Meanwhile, take a bite of the pickle and let us know what you think.

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