Is it possible to connect the multiple generations in worship?
While the answer lies primarily in the heart of each worshiper, I believe there are a number of steps you can take to ensure your church body worships in unity.
1. Expose Your Heart – Worship Leader, even if an elderly person doesn’t like your music, they will connect with a worshiper. They can see right through a fake, passionless heart that only longs to be on stage.
The heart of worship is what builds trust between the generations. Expose your heart and people will trust you to lead them.
2. Balance Your Setlists – I’ve found that when I balance loud, driving music with softer, more reflective moments, it’s possible to engage the generations. Don’t allow your worship set to drive the entire time. Balance the old with the new – the deep theology with the simple.
3. Cast Vision – My pastor does a great job of communicating the vision of why we lead worship and make music/media the way we do. Just the other day I was called over by a group of elderly women sitting in our concourse. I began to break out in a cold sweat.
“Oh, no. Here we go with the “It’s too loud we need to sing more hymns” speech. I was pleasantly surprised. One of the ladies said, “I just love so much all the young people that are on that stage. It’s wonderful to see the next generation using their talents for Jesus.”
What refreshing comment! If you cast vision for where you’re going, people will buy in, even if they disagree with the form.
4. Challenge the Young – Oftentimes the young people don’t worship as hard as they do in youth group. They feel weird surrounded by so many adults.
Challenge them from all sides. Have your youth pastor challenge them to sit together and lead the way in worship on Sunday morning. Challenge them from the stage. Have high expectations for your youth and they will rise to the challenge.
5. Listen to People – It’s easy to forget that ministry is about people. It’s not about ideas and events, performance and hustle. At its core, we are leading people, pastoring people, discipling people.
Make sure you are listening to what people are saying. Even if they disagree with what you do, thank them for speaking up. Don’t allow criticism and praise to define you, but allow it to grow you.
This is one of the greatest challenges of leading worship, but it’s such a high calling. You are called to stand before God’s people and herald his praises. You are calling forth the generations to rise up and sing the praises of God.
Worship leader, don’t lose heart. We need you.