Culture shock in church happens not only when one enters another country, but it even happens within one's own country. There is something so magical and enlightening about solid, powerful worship. What makes worship so powerful one day, and so irrelevant another day? Maybe it's all about the mindset.
Heavy humidity wafted through the church as we listened to the music of the Canaan Church in Los Alcarrizos, Dominican Republic. Many of us didn't understand a lick of Spanish, so we stood when everyone else stood, and sat when a majority sat. The tunes were the same, but the words completely different in many of the songs. For some reason, it didn't matter that we didn't understand. The power of the people worshiping around us, raising hands, singing loud, and clearly not ashamed of themselves made it one of the best worship services I'd ever been a part of, even though I couldn't understand half of the words.
It's all about your mindset.
Do you go to worship to see what sorts of feelings it can give you? Or, do you worship to show God that you are more than capable to give Him what you have, no matter what people around you are doing, or who's staring, or what kind of music is playing? He knows you are created to worship.
It was such a different atmosphere returning to the US and attending a worship service back at our church. Many people stood there through the songs. Many others sang along, reading the words on the screens. Others sang with their eyes closed, trying to feel God's presence. 1 or 2 had their hands up, if not for a verse, for a line of the song. Why the difference? Why the shame? Perhaps it's a rebellion of the music type. Perhaps laziness. But certainly not the true meaning. It's what we can get, not what we can give. If the song doesn't move us, we won't raise our hands. If the other guys aren't singing, why should I sing? What if people think I'm showing off, or being a maniac?
He's the only one we should care about in worship. Not whether or not it's a contemporary song, or hymn. Not about what other people are doing or where they're looking. When did we become entitled to pick the songs we deserve to sing to God?
Where is your worship focus? Is it about what you get, or what you can give?