Last week I mentioned that just under 20 percent of the intergenerational music/choir leaders/ministers indicated that they value intergenerational worship because it’s biblical. A few of my readers asked me to explain a little more about these leaders since they found it hard to believe the percentage was so low. I found some interesting similarities among those who affirm biblical teaching as an important reason to value intergenerational worship.
Here are a few of the findings I found:
- 75% of these leaders held seminary degrees. This suggests that education in biblical studies provides a correlation between biblical truth and practical application—especially in the field of worship studies.
- 75% of the leaders were Millennials or from Generation X. This is significant, because both these generational cohorts combined was still less than half of my overall sample. My overall sample included 55% Boomer leaders; only three of the Boomer leaders indicated biblical reasons for valuing intergenerational worship.
Why is this the case? I think it is because Boomer leaders received their formal education during a time when there wasn’t the need to have the conversation of intergenerational worship. In fact, intergenerational worship was organic to virtually every congregation. Younger leaders have received their formal education more recently and even though intergenerational worship as an academic field of study is in its infancy, there has been more training in recent years. I believe this trend will continue to increase. As leaders (of any age) encounter studies/articles/education in this field, they will hopefully adhere to the biblical precedent of scripture that include worshiping in mutual submission to one another.
3. Every one of these leaders ALSO affirmed that they have intentionally sought to learn more about intergenerational ministry. Training is important as is leaning on the biblical precedents for intergenerational worship.
4. Everyone of these leaders believed their choir members understood the value of being in an intergenerational church and worship/music ministry. Those that firmly believe that intergenerational is biblical are the biggest “evangelists” for intergenerational worship. What makes this data so interesting is, of the leaders who indicated that they believe their choir members don’t understand the value of intergenerational ministry/worship, not a single leader indicated that intergenerational worship is to be valued because it is biblical!
5. 75% of these leaders (as compared to about 42% of all interviewed) affirmed that they regularly teach their choir members about the value of intergenerational ministry/worship. This data suggests that there is positive correlation between understanding that the Bible guides intergenerational philosophy and promotion of intergenerational behavior through teaching.
It might seem hard to believe that only 20 percent of the leaders I interviewed indicated that they believed they should value intergenerational worship because it was biblical, but interestingly, each leader was not asked to indicate only one response. No, they were allowed to offer as many responses as they wished. 20 percent of the leaders indicating another response if they were only asked to give their number one reason is one thing, but not mentioning it at all is even more surprising. Further, most of ALL the leaders I interviewed indicated they had received at least some training/interaction with intergenerational worship studies, but somehow the biblical precedent did not come up among more of the leaders’ responses.
I believe it is essential to understand the “why” behind intergenerational worship in order to accurately be an “evangelist” for it. Regularly search the scriptures for the truth (Philippians especially) of being of one heart and mind and celebrate and teach of the benefits of worshiping together with all generations in Spirit and Truth.