As I spent time researching choirs and leaders of choirs in intergenerational churches, I discovered some interesting information that suggests some positive trends for the future, if Georgia Baptist Ministers of Music are an indication of other ministers of music in other states.
- Younger Ministers of Music more intentionally have sought training in intergenerational ministry/worship than their older counterparts. Perhaps this is because many older ministers of music went to seminary when separate services weren’t even on anyone’s radar, but the encouraging news is younger ministers of music in intergenerational churches have received some training in the field.
- There is a direct positive correlation to seminary education and intergenerational training in ministers of music. Almost all of those I interviewed that had been to seminary indicated they learned about intergenerational ministry and/or worship.
- There is a direct correlation between those ministers of music who have not sought to learn more about intergenerational ministry/worship and the impact on the choir members.
Ministers of Music who have not sought to learn more about intergenerational worship/ministry are more likely (than those who have) to exhibit the following characteristics:
*More likely fall in the Boomer generation themselves
*Do not teach their choir members about the importance of intergenerational ministry/worship
*Not have seminary or even graduate school education
*Their choir members don’t understand the value of singing in an intergenerational choir
*Do nothing specific to foster interaction between the various age groups in the choir
This information alarms me because these leaders are ALREADY leaders of intergenerational choirs in intergenerational churches. As I wrote about last week, many of these leaders are primarily leaders of organic intergenerational churches. The leaders I interviewed who had learned more about intergenerational worship/ministry indicated the following means by which they learned more:
*Informal conversations– talk with our colleagues about what works and doesn’t work in their church.
*Books/articles– there are some great resources for teaching about intergenerational ministry (I can give you a VERY long list).
*Conferences/Courses– Intergenerational ministry and worship are topics increasingly becoming more and more regularly found in seminaries and conferences around the globe.
*Websites– What you are reading right now qualifies! Many are finding great resources on the web for information regarding intergenerational worship/ministry.
From a personal perspective, seven years ago when I went back to NOBTS and started studying intergenerational worship, I had no idea what to call what I felt in my gut was the church needs to be together in corporate worship. This process of learning solidified my philosophical belief that we should value every generation, listen to our members, and do our best to provide a unified spirit between the diversity of ages in our midst. Learning the why and how of intergenerational ministry/worship can provide the best opportunity for the leaders and the church to celebrate the richness that is the body of Christ.