“When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.” 1 Corinthians 14:26

In March 2017, Lee Street Christian Reformed Church, Lee Street en Español, and members of the greater church came together in Wyoming, Michigan, for an Ignite conference to learn about and experience the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit.

It was a glorious two days in the life of church.

Multi-Cultural Worship: A Foretaste of Heaven

In 1 Corinthians 14, the Apostle Paul talks about good order in worship—that we come together, that we bring our hymns, words of instruction, revelation, and tongues, and that it’s all done for the edification of the church.

That is exactly what happened at Lee Street Church during our Ignite weekend. We sang hymns and praise songs and God brought us words of instruction—from Scripture, from the catechism, and from our wise teachers Pastor Mary Sterenberg and Pastor Martin Boardman.

PRMI Board Member Mary Sterenberg teaching at Ignite 1 in Wyoming, MI, in March 2017

Pastor Mary Sterenberg teaching at Ignite 1 in Wyoming, MI, in March 2017

We communicated in various tongues—English, Spanish, broken combinations of both, and holy prayer language too—while God revealed himself beautifully through the Holy Spirit. It was a slice of heaven.

Some say that when we worship in a multicultural way, we are preparing ourselves for heaven. I disagree. Do we really need to prepare for heaven?

What I actually think is happening when we worship with brothers and sisters from other cultures—singing each others’ songs in each others’ languages, praying together, hearing the word proclaimed in culturally distinct motifs perhaps foreign to our own, hugging or high-fiving someone who looks completely different but who loves the same Jesus—is that God is bringing heaven to earth. We experience a hint of what’s coming.

When multicultural worship is jarring to our sensibilities because it’s outside our comfort zone, God offers a profound invitation: “Come and see who I also love. Come and learn my heart. This is hard for you? It’s okay. My Holy Spirit is with you, your Helper and Companion. Take his hand and he will grow you into a person after my heart.”

"The Fruits of the Spirit" banner at Lee Street Christian Church in Wyoming, MI

“The Fruit of the Spirit” banner at Lee Street Christian Church in Wyoming, MI

 

"The Fruits of the Spirit" Spanish language banner at Lee Street Christian Church in Wyoming, MI

“The Fruit of the Spirit” Spanish language banner at Lee Street Christian Church in Wyoming, MI

A Church and Community Experienced New Infilling of the Holy Spirit

During the Lee Street Ignite, we gathered in an office to pray before each session and to anoint the speakers and translators. People from three countries and twelve churches prayed together, and the Spirit moved powerfully. Heaven.

At the end of the conference of 100-plus attendees, nearly all of them came forward to be anointed and prayed over for a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit in English, in Spanish, or both. Heaven.

Participants praying together at Ignite 1, Grand Rapids, MI, in March, 2017

Participants praying together at Ignite 1, Grand Rapids, MI, in March, 2017

Lee Street Christian Reformed Church and Lee Street en Español are changed because of this conference. More than that, the Kingdom of God is being impacted through what the Spirit is doing in the lives of his people.

A movement has been set in motion. Embers have been ignited and flames are burning. What a joy to be a part of this slice of heaven in our little corner of the earth.

Your Next Step

If you find yourself longing to see the positive changes described in this article, please pray about whether God is calling you to experience a PRMI ministry event.  To learn more about Ignite or to find an Ignite or other PRMI event near you, please follow the link below.

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