(pic credit: ‘This ‘Ole Tree’ ©2017 crisbaj. Used with permission)
I tripped into this worship-leader blog… and this stuff needs to be re-posted all over the place.
Meet worship pastor Manuel Luz, my new digital friend:
Here is the initial blog, ‘The Issue of Age in Modern Worship’:
and, after a significant response to the initial blog… a follow-up:
Manuel writes in the blog (citation above), “The dirty little secret is that, in an effort to create more attractive services, some churches are actually looking more and more like the high school cafeteria. There is the Cool table, the Nerd table, the Jock table. No one wants the uncool guy or gal sitting at their table. At least, not on the worship team table… What are we modeling when only “cool” people lead worship? What are we really valuing when we quietly retire those “mature” musicians? And what are we saying to the ever-growing older segments of our congregation when we put an unspoken age limit on those on stage?”
Manuel is right; age-discrimination is occurring in churches, especially the medium-to-larger, modern churches with more than 500 people… (see the AdoreTheLord blog stream, summarized in https://adorethelord.blog/2017/06/28/we-be-goin-to-church-part-3-take-aways/
How do I know this is actually happening? My personal experience resonates with Manuel’s.
Are bigger churches behaving like stores in a large American Malls… look slick, look young, craft a style and a ‘brand’ that will attract cool, un-churched people walking by, “wow, I like that vibe…” and begin coming to our (cool) church…? Are pastors and leaders becoming like the editors-and-chiefs of Teen-16 and Fashion magazines, looking carefully at age and hair-styles and ‘optics’, editing out the older, slightly-rounded, road-worn in the Worship band?
Take a look at the ‘worship’ videos out there… are the majority of on-screen people in the shoot fashion-model-quality, or are there actual, real people (older, slightly-rounded, road-worn) in there?
Style over substance? Having a cool event over having a worshipping community? Inclusiveness, or exclusivity? Is there a new dress code required to be in a church… trendy, un-tucked shirts and blouses, jeans, loafers or heels with Starbucks in hand?
If the physical Jesus walked into these places, the ones who are practicing this odd age-discrimination, would His ‘optics’ find an embrace, or be steered to the back seats?
A number of years ago, I had a conversation with an experienced church-planter. He and his wife have planted over a dozen healthy churches in the USA and in eastern Europe. I asked him, ‘what’s the most important factors in church-planting?’
“See that people commit to the Risen Christ, the Kingdom of God, and the Gospel, not the outreach style and services”, he said. “If you put on a big, flashy show for evangelism, people will commit to come back for the show again and again, but not necessary Christ and His Kingdom. They’ll expect the smoke and show. Be careful what you put out there… be like Peter and John in Acts 3: “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk. (NIV)”
written by crisbaj
© 2017 by crisbaj/AdoreTheLord.blog All rights reserved.
All Scripture references from New International Version unless otherwise indicated.
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