Indigenous Liturgy

featuringRichard Twiss

Richard Twiss talks about worshiping in the context of who God made us.


  1. Twiss tells us that among the Lakota people the word Wakan Tanka means “Great Spirit” or “Great Mystery.” However, for some time they were forced to use the German word, Gott. Often the language of one culture is forced onto another as the proper way to worship. How do churches often force others to conform to the culture and language of the church?
  2. How can this be detrimental in helping people understand and worship God in all of God’s richness?
  3. Twiss talks about how the imposition of culture affects identity, because the question always is “when do we get to become the people who God made us, as Christ-followers.” How can worship using indigenous language and symbol help us to express who God is?
  4. How might this help affirm our identities as “Christ-followers”?
  5. Twiss speaks of attitudes of missionaries who have said to the Native Americans, “Our music is God’s music and your music is pagan.” How can this attitude become the basis of a theology that is not biblical? In other words, how can this be the wrong way to tell the Christian story?
  6. How do we sometimes want to make people in “our image, and in our likeness” rather than seeing people in God’s image?
  7. Twiss talks about the practice of “loving my neighbor’s music” as a form of acknowledging another’s differences. He says that we do not have to like the music, but have an appreciation of their existence and purpose. What often keeps us from “loving our neighbor’s music”? Why are these differences so difficult to bridge at times?

Questions written by Phuc Luu.

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