If you are looking for one subject about which everyone has an opinion choose music. Musical talent is not required to give one’s judgment on their favorite style.
As one who has experienced many years with music in the life of the church I have regularly received the input of many members both young and old stating their belief on what type of music we should be singing.
Several years ago I visited with my grandmother in Ohio. I remember asking her if they had started doing contemporary worship in her church. She said they had and it wasn’t her favorite music but she “had her time and now it was the younger people’s turn.”
Just last week I had the pleasure of visiting my 81-year-old mother-in-law’s church. In recent years this church has been re-defining itself. The former pastor who had lovingly shepherded a growing church retired and handed off the baton to a mid-30-year-old pastor. With the younger mindset came style changes in many ministries including the worship. Admittedly there were some who left the church but yet it continued to grow and my “cool” and flexible mother-in-law was one who stayed.
I came away from the service liking it for myself but thinking about how very different this was from what she had known and even preferred. What keeps her there? She hears great teaching, experiences inspiring worship (even though it is not her style) and sees a church with a heart for the community and the world. She belongs to a great seniors group and another outside fellowship where they sing her music speaking to her heart and mind. She still belongs, she still feels loved and respected.
Reflecting on this I too must ask if I can see the bigger picture of God’s kingdom as I grow older. I can’t totally eliminate my biases but I can, with the Lord’s help, learn to be flexible and recognize the essentials of worship and ministry in the midst of styles not my own. I am inspired to ponder how all generations young and old can see through the preferences of our own while allowing all of God’s family to joyfully express and receive the love of God in all the creative means possible.