by Sharon Brodin ~
If you were to take a poll today, what would you say is the age range represented by your worship team?
One Sunday morning I happened to look across the stage from the piano where I was sitting at the members of our worship team. I realized we had five decades represented that morning. The youngest member was in his teens, the oldest in her 50s.
At that moment I realized how blessed we are to have a multi-generational worship team. I hadn’t thought of it before, but since then it’s been my goal to try to have a good mix of ages on the team for any given meeting (we have four meetings each weekend). Since we have an age span of 16-66, it’s not usually too hard.
I don’t know what your situation is at your church. But if your worship team is more limited in age range —whether by choice or not — I’d like to share with you four benefits for encouraging a wider range…
1. The worship team is multi-generational
One of the most wonderful truths of our faith is the emphasis God places on relationship. Both with Him and with each other. He invented family.
And one of the best things about being part of a biological family is the way the generations learn to relate together — parents with children, husbands with wives, children with children, grandparents with grandchildren.
That transfers over naturally to the Family of God — the Body of Christ. In our communities of faith, it’s a wonderful thing for children to relate to other parents. For teens to relate to other grandparents. For twenty-somethings to relate to fifty-somethings.
It makes for a healthier family when those relationships are encouraged and supported.
Your worship team can be a microcosm of what the church should look like. Teens and grandparents worshiping together. The younger generation and older generation serving side-by-side. It’s healthier for everyone.
It’s a chance for every age to build friendships with those of other ages with something in common — their calling for music and worship.
2. You give mentoring opportunities to your older team members
Whether it’s musical knowledge, life experience or spiritual wisdom, your older team members have so much to give. And they want to pass on what they know, what they’ve experienced and what they’ve learned along the way.
I know that because I’m an older team member! (I just celebrated my 50th birthday recently) I love working with our younger musicians, singers and worship leaders — not just musically but in life.
And as the administrator of our 30-member team, I appreciate the skill, the wisdom and the maturity of our older and most experienced members. Some of us have been serving on worship teams since long before our younger members were born.
3. Your younger folks bring energy, enthusiasm and new ideas
Have you ever been guilty of saying, “We’ve always done it this way. That’s just the way the song goes.” I have…often!
Chances are your younger team members haven’t heard the Integrity version of Ancient of Days and don’t know He is Exalted the “right” way.
But they also didn’t grow up hearing I Exalt Thee every week for 5 years, and so can get excited about putting a fresh spin on an oldie-but-goodie.
And just because they’re young don’t assume they won’t have anything to do with the oldies…even hymns. Our two youngest worship leaders (both early 20s) regularly pull out hymns and songs from the 80s when they lead.
It’s good for us older members to have our musical assumptions questioned once in awhile. It’s good for us to be around the energy, enthusiasm and idealism of the teens and young adults.
4. It’s good for those in the congregation to see their own generations represented up on stage
Like I said before, our worship teams can be a microcosm of what the Body of Christ should look like.
If all the older folks see on stage are the young whipper-snappers they may tune out and assume this isn’t for them. (Yes, I know worship isn’t about our musical preferences, but …)
And if all the younger folks only see the old fogies up there, they’ll be even more likely to tune out and assume they can’t relate (since most don’t have the maturity yet to engage anyway).
But even assuming we’re all more mature than that, and truly want to worship in spirit, truth and unity…having worship team members of all ages working together is a beautiful picture of how the Lord created family and how it’s designed to function.
The amazing scene in Revelation of all the tribes and tongues worshiping together before the Throne is our pattern for multi-cultural worship. We want that here on earth, too.
Multi-generational worship is another piece of the same puzzle. It’s about coming together in unity, for one purpose — to honor the King.
Well, I’m off for another multi-generational worship set — there are three of us on the team tonight. One is 20, one is 35 and the other is 50 (that would be me). It’s gonna be a good night!
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Sharon Brodin is the Worship Administrator at Way of the Lord Church in Blaine, Minnesota. Her husband and two of their three children also serve in worship there, making them a genuine multi-generational worshiping family! In addition, Sharon also teaches private piano lessons and works as a freelance copywriter.