Now We Can Be Called Christians
Last weekend was a milestone for us at Evergreen, but it might be easy to miss. Our Spanish Ministry turned 10 years old and they had a marvelous celebration as only they can. It began with Saturday’s community outreach. Over 200 people from the community came to enjoy a festival put on by our Hispanic family. They had face painting and a bounce house for the niños, and festive music that made you smile. But the feature was the eight food booths representing each of the countries that make up our Spanish congregation. Their faces beamed with pride as they donned traditional dress, decorated their booths in the colors of their country and served delicious food their homeland is known for. Delicioso!
Sunday’s event was a worship service with all the trimmings appropriate for praising God for the great work he has done over these ten years of Spanish ministry at Evergreen. The worship team had extra salsa, an impressive video told the story, Pastor Jose and Ruth sang a sweet duet and then he preached a message perfect for the occasion.
There was a moment near the end of the service when they sang The Heart of Worship. I added my English to their Spanish, and as we sang, thanked God that we are fully unified on the conviction that the heart of worship truly is all about Jesus. Single language churches are understandably the norm, and I’m sure that was the case when it all began in the book of Acts. But one of those early churches, the one in Antioch wasn’t typical. The church planters shared the gospel not only with their Jewish friends but also with the Greek speaking community. The result was the birth of a diverse, multi-lingual church that became a pioneer in cross-cultural gospel ministry. Isn’t it interesting that the concluding note in Acts says, “The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” (Acts 11:26)
I like to think that the term “Christians” fits us even better now that we are one church, two languages.