Generational Differences 5: Worship

Rick Mattson Church 3 Comments

First hour at a church I visited this morning, we sang contemporary praise songs.
Second hour I led a few hymns for an older adult Sunday School.
It was a study in contrasts . . . as reflected in the following chart:

Worship music can be a sensitive subject for the oldsters. Many feel disenfranchised by the turn away from hymnody.

Young people, however, have a quite different response when their style of music is not played. They don’t sit there fuming in the pews (or write nasty emails to the pastors).

No. They simply don’t show up.

It seems to me we all need to hold on to our worship style preferences pretty lightly — or be defeated by disunity.

Comments 3

  1. I can't think of a place where the generations need each other more than in the area of worship.

    A worship that lacks either heart OR mind is not Christian worship. If you don't know God, you have a hard time experiencing God, and if you don't experience God, you can't know him.

    I think you are on to something about the difference between the generations when their preferred style is absent – but I think it is actually different. The older do seem to do as you suggest much of the time, but they are very prone to leave. I think the younger generation, when introduced to _good_ hymn singing, actually will join in – if you show them that God can be experienced in the style, they will embrace it.

  2. Thanks Rick! Very insightful. Good food for thought for us under-35 worship leaders.

    When the next generation comes along with their laser/trip-hop stylings, I'll try and keep some perspective…


  3. Charlie: I hope you're right about hymnody for young people. It's a tradition we shouldn't lose.

    JLB: I think you've captured my intent very well: to help both old and young think of the “other” as both valid and valuable.

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