In a globalized world, the challenges of translation and contextualization easily surface, and this is no less true for “doing God’s story” in worship.

Dr. Carl Park addressed key questions in the January 2018 IWS seminar, Contextualized Worship and the Mission of God in the Local Church. How does awareness of culture impact the local church’s worship, which proclaims and performs the gospel? How does the particularity of the story of Jesus relate to the ongoing need for translation of that story? How is our performance of that story transcultural, counter-cultural, and cross-cultural?

Audio resources from the seminar are available below.


Beyond Notions of an Acultural Church, Gospel, and Worship [Download, 18:21]


The Particular Story of Jesus, the Particular Person of Jesus, and the Particular Story of the Church and the World [Download, 34:01]


Contextualizing the Gospel in Proclamation and Performance [Download, 23:46]


The Gospel and Worship as Accommodation and Translation [Download, 42:27]


Worshiping as a Local and Universal Community: The Dangers of Too Much and Too Little Particularity [Download, 4:33]


Encultured Gospel, Part 1 [Download, 24:52]


Encultured Gospel, Part 2 [Download, 41:08]


Worshiping as a Cross-Cultural Community [Download, 9:12]


Carl Park reflected on his time back at IWS for the worship seminar:

It was so good to be at IWS for the alumni seminar, meeting alums I had not met before and re-connecting with ones I’ve known. It felt more like a workshop, less like a lecture, where I was enriched by all the participants as they shared observations of and implications for their respective ministry contexts. The alumni were as open, thoughtful, and gracious as I’ve experienced the whole school to be, throughout the years I’ve been with IWS. Apart from the seminar itself, it was, as usual, a true pleasure to be part of the community as a whole. I was struck, again, by this community’s beauty, oneness, mutual affection, and the kind of spiritual knowledge that, as Paul says, builds up rather than puffs up.

Link to Carl Park Seminar Photo Gallery.


About the author

Alumni Director, Practicum Professor, and DWS graduate.