As many of us know, Christians in the world use different ways to worship. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, worship is considered a happy time. You go to get the blessings from God, praise Him and have time to be together with friends. The service begins with a traditional processional song sung every Sunday. They are several choirs in different groups: men, women, youth, and children. Choirs normally sing two or three songs each during the service. Some of the songs are praise songs, some are for evangelizing, and others are to ask the Lord for forgiveness.
The offering time is exciting because the people go to give their offerings in front. At that time, all the choirs stand up to lead the congregation. People dance when they go to put their money in baskets while the drummers beat the drums, hard! The ushers hold baskets, one for women’s offering, one for men’s offering, one for young people’s offering. Those who do not have cash to offer, bring in-kind donations such as alive chickens, goats, ducks, peanuts and others. This part of the service could last a long time, depending on size of the church and the number of choirs. People don’t complaint about the length of the service because they are praising their God in a way which makes them feel comfortable.
For all prayers, the congregation is standing except those blessing the communion. The pastoral prayer takes about 10 to 15 minutes. The Scripture reading is followed by an extended praise period of 10 to 20 minutes with singing and dancing led by a praise band and involving the whole congregation, who are standing and praising God with singing and many hand gestures. After this comes the sermon, which can last 50-60 minutes. When the minister preaches in the Congo, he combines the Bible, traditional poesy and proverbs to make the point of his message to the congregation.
After the service, no one is in a hurry to leave. Many stay around for meetings or visiting afterward. When they go out, they even continue to sing and discuss the events of the day. The church is a fundamental part of life for Congolese people. Worship and the traditional way of praising goes deep into their culture. It brings them closer to God and gives them a joyful feeling of togetherness at that moment.