David Santistevan

6 Tips for Leading Modern Worship In a Multi Generational Church

If you’re a worship leader, you know the struggle.

It’s not a new struggle. As long as the church has been in existence, people have fought over music.

In the Reformation days, Martin Luther was accused of bringing secular tunes into the church.

In 1540 John Calvin stated that only the Old Testament Psalms sung in a metrical rhythm were appropriate for corporate worship. This caused quite a stir of controversy between Calvin’s followers and Luther’s.

Gregorian chants were criticized when vocal harmonies were introduced.

David & Dale Garrett were some of the first to use drums and guitars in worship back in the 1960s. You probably know the criticism that received.

Fast forward to the present day: If you lead worship in a multi generational church, you know the worship wars.

If you cater to the older folks, the young don’t connect. If you cater to the young, the older don’t connect. It’s a vicious cycle. But I’m wondering, are their ways to be progressive and modern in a way that most people can connect?

Of course, it’s not possible to please everyone, but if you lead a multi generational church it’s your responsibility to find a place for different types of people to connect.

If people aren’t singing, engaging, connecting on a regular basis, we’re doing something wrong. Let’s take an objective look at our worship planning.

Here are a few tips for leading modern worship in a multi generational church:

6 Tips for Leading Modern Worship (for those who kind of hate it)

1. Allow Your Worship Sets to Breathe – A lot of worship leaders don’t take into consideration how their worship sets feel from beginning to end. They don’t put themselves “in the seats” so to speak, and experience the music as an attender. Your worship songs can’t just be a list of your favorite songs. You’re an artist. What you love may not serve the average person and that’s the goal of choosing songs – to serve people in their pursuit of God.

Doing 3 Young & Free songs back to back may be great for a youth event but in your church it’s probably a bit overkill. Back to back to back songs with pounding bass and driving guitars is a lot for anyone to handle. So allow your sets to breathe. Utilize space. If you’re going to go loud, balance it with a softer, older song. Realize there’s people who have a tough time with modern songs. Create some space.

2. Dig for Great Old Songs & Hymns – When I was a kid, I thought hymns were lame. But I don’t get that sense anymore from the younger generation. I feel that this generation is hungry for good theology, depth, and something real. If a hymn feels real and honest, they will connect.

I feel like most of our song choosing efforts are spent looking forward to the latest Hillsong & Matt Redman release. But what if we looked back and started mining for gold in the hymns of history? Zac Hicks has some great resources from our podcast interview. Old songs can connect if they are believable and sung in way that is believable.

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