HOW TO HELP OLDER PEOPLE LIKE YOUNGER MUSIC
August 11, 2009
August 11, 2009
|Donna Mae (our family name for our beloved mother) stood while the music blared on. She was 76 and loving it. She couldn’t hear well and she clapped a bit off beat but she was in the height of her glory.|
I used to say to her, “Mom how is it that so many of your friends get worked up and leave the church over the young music but you seem to enjoy it.” Her response to me was, “It is not necessarily my style of music. I like hymns and the older choruses. However, I just love watching the young people get excited about the Lord. I find it thrilling to see them worshiping Jesus.”
Other folks of the older set seem to lose sight of what Mom had in focus. The mission of the church seems to take a back seat to personal preferences. So how does a pastor actually go about helping those good folks, older saints learn to like younger music?
Wrong question! But if you want an answer, here it is. “You don’t!” Nor do you make younger people like older music. Appreciate it, maybe. Like it and live for it, not likely. You need to reframe the question.
Hopefully by the end of the day both can have appreciation for the other, but this question needs to be reframed. It makes no difference what anyone’s preference is inside the church. The community of believers does not need to have music to suit them, young or old. Unfortunately, for decades we have been trained to believe that the church service is the place where we all come to be uplifted. With that comes “our” music.
Let’s set the record straight. The church service is for the proclamation of the Gospel. We have no reason to exist aside from this happening.
Therefore, all aspects of the church service should focus on that which draws non-believers.
So here is the correct question and answer.
A related question is, “What kind of a culture do we need to create for all people to be Kingdom-minded in their entire approach to ministry?” At the end of the day, that one makes you or breaks you.
Think about it. This age-old issue in the church has done more to polarize the body than virtually anything else. Frequently the young have little appreciation for the beauty and heritage of the past. Far too often the old dig their heels in on the stylistically sinful sounding music of days gone by finding itself right at the center of today’s praise and worship.
So what to do about it. Keep in mind, remaking a culture that has been in place for decades will not be easy or quick. This process will likely take years to completely be part of the church’s DNA. Here are four things to consider.
This is where developing a Kingdom culture is critical. Do the following eight things and you will make good progress to that end. Remember, this will take A LOT of time! Months and years!
There is no magical formula. Plain and simple, preach and teach to mission, that of reaching lost people for the Kingdom. Realize it will take time but you’ll know when the message gets through. You might be surprised to see your greatest cheerleaders coming from the gray hair in your congregation!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dick Hardy is the Founder and President of The Hardy Group, a Pastoral Leadership Consulting firm for lead pastors. The Hardy Group believes that church does not always have to be what it has always been and that pastors can lead at entirely new levels. Dick’s tag line is, “Everything But Preaching.” He notes that pastors love to preach. It’s all the other stuff that eats their lunch.
Dick has served as an Administrative Pastor, Chief Operating Officer, Non-Profit Executive Director and College Vice-President. He consults personally with pastors who are tired of the status quo and want to see substantive change and growth in the ministries they serve.