Yesterday we had our bi-monthly lunch meeting with those interested in joining our church. It’s always a great time as we get to know our new folks and those new folks get a chance to meet the staff and other leadership of our church. I’m always amazed at the diversity of talents given to each group of people present. Yesterday’s group was larger than normal because we hadn’t had a lunch like this since May. My role is not only to mingle and get to know the people gathered, but to to also talk about the mission and vision of the music and worship arts ministries here at the church. For me, it’s a perfect time for me to explain the intergenerational nature and philosophy of our music ministry. I try very hard to articulate that anyone with passion and gifted-ness in music has a place to serve in our church. Granted, not everyone will be singing solos, singing on a praise team, or playing instrumental solos, but everyone has a place. I don’t know why it gets me every time, but just about every time I talk about how important it is to value all persons in music ministry, everyone in the room is either nodding in agreement or some are visibly moved to the point that I see their mind churning…I have a place here if I want to serve.
It brings me great joy to talk with several of the families and individuals after the lunch is officially over. One couple, who was present with their recent college graduate daughter, told me about their background in music. The wife hasn’t sung in a group in some number of years, but used to sing in a professional group. Those of you that know me know that my face is the window into my mind. I probably looked stunned as I asked, “why haven’t you been singing in the last church you were in?” The story was familiar…I wasn’t pretty enough, or my voice wasn’t edgy enough, there wasn’t a choir, etc. I shook my head in understanding although after hearing this similar story, I’m still shocked. The word I get (well, most of us here at Ivy Creek) is, “Will, we didn’t know you guys existed. We didn’t know there were churches that not only had a choir and orchestra, but that also valued musical excellence.” I literally hear this story ALL the time. In fact, the next family I spoke with after them basically said the same thing to me. Our previous church’s music was so loud we couldn’t even hear ourselves sing, so we just didn’t sing—WOW! In this family, the husband (who had his children there—all of whom are in their twenties) said that he used to do vocal competitions, yet hasn’t sung in years. My heart sank…and I said, “sir, you have a place here to sing.”
Here are a few observations I’ve picked up, not only from yesterday, but over the last few years as well.
One final note…Because our commitment to be intergenerational, my job is to figure out what is the best of the old and the new, musically and otherwise. It’s NOT easy. The term “blended” worship is tossed around, but to blend there needs to cohesion…musically, textually, rhythmically/meter, etc. Worship pastor, don’t be afraid to take some risks when creating the musical journey each week. Just remember your context!
Category: TagsTags: baptist, Boomers, Builders, choir, choirs in worship, choral, church music, family worship, Gen-X, intergenerational choir, intergenerational worship, Millennials, multigenerational, music, uncategorized, worship
“Intergenerational Worship” is worship in which people of every age are understood to be equally important.