Monday, May 14, 2012Download All Stories
In India, songwriter nurtures worship for a diverse culture
INDIA (BP) -- Jeff Bourque made his way to India from Music City USA to share the basics of songwriting.His mission: to help musicians from several churches in India write songs that speak to their highly diverse culture. In a nation where only one of every 70 people believes in Jesus, Indian Christians are surrounded by Hindu temples full of idols and such sounds as the Muslim call to prayer.
Ethan Leyton*, an ethnomusicologist, and Mani Dutta*, an Indian pastor, invited Bourque, worship leader for Grace Community Church in Nashville, to conduct a songwriting workshop for 18 young men and women from several Indian churches in urban settings.
Leyton and Dutta "dreamed and prayed," as Leyton put it, "that instead of [English-speaking] Indian believers singing Hillsong and Chris Tomlin songs all the time, perhaps they could begin writing their own English songs for worship."
These believers have much to offer Christian music, with their distinctive identity in living out their faith in India, Leyton said, voicing a hope that their songs also might be used in American churches one day.
Leyton has organized 20 songwriting workshops for believers around southern Asia during the last seven years. Bourque's workshop, however, is unique because it's the first one in English. In mega-cities where multiple languages are spoken, many Christians and young professionals are more comfortable communicating in English because it's the language they have in common.
Bible college student and church worship leader Amit Dhawan* had struggled to write songs long before the workshop, where he worked with three others to write the song "The Lord is Good."
"Many times I came to know the truth about God through worship songs, and it encouraged me to come closer to God," Dhawan said. "[As a songwriter,] I want people to understand that God still saves, heals and delivers people from darkness." Read More
NAMB to link churches & mission fieldALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) -- Dean Sisk is bringing four men to Georgia in July from Belle Aire Baptist Church hoping they gain new vision and new connections for expanding their reach. "We came to a conclusion that our primary focus in missions needed to be on planting churches," said Sisk, who has led the Tennessee congregation in assisting a half-dozen church starts across North America. Read More
Ezell introduces missionary development planALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) -- Having enough missionaries to support the Southern Baptist effort to impact lostness in North America will require intentional missionary development. Read More
Romney: Mormons, evangelicals can work togetherNASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney acknowledged to a crowd at Liberty University's commencement that Mormonism and evangelicalism are different faiths, but he said people in both camps can work together on issues of "shared moral convictions." Read More
Exhibit hall to show SBC's 'voice' for CP
NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- The Cooperative Program will be a key focal point in the exhibit hall at the Southern Baptist Convention in New Orleans.
The beauty of the CP lies not in the amount of money each church is able to give, but in the voice it provides every believer in SBC missions and ministry, said Ashley Clayton, associate to the SBC Executive Committee president for the CP and stewardship.
"Every gift is an investment in ministries and missions," Clayton said. "What we try to commu... Read More
BP Ledger, May 14 edition
EDITOR'S NOTE: BP Ledger carries items for reader information each week from various Southern Baptist-related entities, and news releases of interest from other sources. The items are published as received.
Today's BP Ledger includes items from:
Compass Direct News
International Mission Board
Campbellsville grads hear US ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom
By Joan C. McKinney
CAMPBELLSVILLE, KY (Campbellsvill... Read More
FIRST-PERSON: 'Kids need a mom & dad' shouldn't be controversial
Among the absurdities posited by supporters of same-sex "marriage" is the notion that children don't need a mother and a father, says columnist Joseph Backholm. Read More