Organizational Affiliation: Director, Worship Resources International; Pastor of Worship/Missionary in Residence, First Evangelical Church, Memphis, Tennessee
How did you get started in ethnodoxology? I lived overseas for 10 years at 4 different times, but always in German-speaking Europe. God used my education (music studies and later seminary) and church experiences (as a pastor and as a worship pastor) to develop in me a passion for teaching on the biblical foundations of worship. That focus has enabled me to teach in 32 countries, since I present transcultural principles not tied to any particular culture or tradition.
I think my first contact in the ethnodoxology world was Frank Fortunato, and we have since ministered together in India and other places. As sort of a “worship theologian,” I have sought to encourage biblical rigor in the ethnodoxology movement; I serve on the teaching team for ICE’s traveling “Introduction to Ethnodoxology” course (teaching the segment on Biblical Foundations of Ethnodoxology) and on the Executive Committee of the Global Consultation on Music in Missions (and keynoted at the 2008 and 2010 events). I also help to found the Biblical Worship section of the Evangelical Theological Society.
What has been one of your favorite moments in ethnodoxology? My favorite places to teach have been in the Middle East. To see the love of Arabic peoples for their Savior, and to see my students apply biblical principles of worship in culturally appropriate ways, has been really moving. All the GCOMM events have tremendously encouraging too.
What do you hope will be different in 25 years as a result of your work in ethnodoxology? I hope to see churches worldwide be ever more intentional in reading, singing, praying, portraying and enacting the Scriptures in their corporate worship services, through an expanding range of creative means to “let the Word of Christ dwell richly among” them (Colossians 3:16).