My church has a pretty good cross section of ages. This is a very good thing, but it’s not without its challenges. One thing that can be tricky is planning a worship set that appeals to people across age groups.
Now, let me explain: I don’t plan my services strictly to please people. That would be a losing battle all around. But I do feel a responsibility to honor everyone in the church when I plan worship. I like how Kelly Puckett puts it in this post at the Worship Sense Blog:
Worship leaders generally struggle with the style of worship. Choice of music. Expectations of the congregation. There is, however, an unhealthy reliance on these ideas. I recently heard a woman say that we focus too much on whether or not the church fits our needs. But the true question is: are we for the church?
The post is called Worship Leader, Are You For The Church?, and it’s all about our responsibility to be sensitive to those we’re leading in worship. To be candid, a huge aspect of that is being respectful to different age groups in the church, especially in congregations that skew older. Kelly provides some great tips on how to deal with this issue. For example:
Slowly introduce new songs, so the congregation (especially older generations) can grow comfortable with the song choice.
That’s actually pretty good advice all around. This was good, too:
Model authentic, transparent worship. I have found that this can knock down barriers that may come with a difficulty to connect with the music. It brings everyone together, fixing their eyes on Jesus rather than each other (or even the worship leader).
It’s hard to disagree with each other when our eyes are fixed on Jesus, isn’t it?