Over the decades, the Great Commission mandate has resulted in various calls for involvement. The latest iteration from Operation Mobilization is riveting: “to see vibrant communities of Jesus followers planted among the unreached.” OM’s Heart Sounds International adds its own slight variation: “to see vibrant worshiping communities of Jesus-followers planted.”
HSI teams are comprised mainly of worship musicians, teachers and recording engineers. These teams work together with local pastors and leaders to help ignite biblically appropriate and culturally relevant heart worship. Their combined efforts are concentrated in places where Christ-followers are restricted, persecuted or unknown. Subsequent distribution of composed indigenous worship songs has been identified as one of the strategies resulting in church growth among Christ-followers.
From its inception, HSI focused on the biblical mandate of “sing to the Lord a new song” (Ps 33, 40, 96, 98, 144, 149) as one of the most salient means for the gathered congregation to express devotion and worship. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Address one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart” (Ephesians 5:18-19). A well-known pastor comments that “we sing songs and hymns filled with the truth of God’s word to one another and are therefore filled with the influence of his Spirit in our hearts … in order to be changed by his truth.”
Capturing the “new song” through mobile field recording teams among marginalized people around the world has dominated HSI’s efforts over the years. Just a few decades ago, a team would have required suitcases full of equipment to make that happen. (HSI’s first trip to North Africa required four suitcases bulging with recording equipment). These days, it can happen with miniaturized digital accessories and a laptop that can be squeezed into a backpack.
The Great Commission tempo is quickening, and the crescendo is building. Likewise, the pace has increased for HSI projects. HSI Leadership Team’s weekly Skype prayer calls spreads across thirteen time zones from Africa to mainland North America to Hawaii to pray for over a dozen or more projects in process.
We are moving steadily toward that exhilarating moment when all redeemed humanity, all the vibrant communities of Jesus followers, join the millions of angels participating in corporate worship in an unending symphony of praise through eternity.
Written by Frank Fortunato, co-founder of Heart Sounds International, a ministry of OM Arts