Rocking Grandma

IDEAS, other

Over the past few weeks as I’ve been teaching worship conference classes I’ve been intrigued by the change I’ve been seeing lately. There seems to be a greater desire among churches to become more relevant and contemporary. I think this is the next phase of worship – ministries are discovering it’s not enough to merely plug praise songs into their traditional service order – they need to build contemporary worship from the ground up.

I’m also seeing more contemporary worship acceptance by older people. I’ll never forget one little old lady who attended my keyboard classes. I think she said she was 80 – and the petite little thing was something straight out of a sitcom with her cute outfit, granny glasses and coiffed hairdo.

She told me the story of how her church recently built a new sanctuary but decided not to purchase the new Allen organ she had hoped for. She was devastated. She’d probably been the church organist for years and now the church wouldn’t even have an organ!

So, she decided to learn something new – the synthesizer. And there she sat in all my classes, learning about drum loops, synth leads, pads and improv.

That woman deserves a medal and probably will get a crown in Heaven.

She surprisingly has much in common with Madonna, Sting, U2 and any other successful artist who’s had a long career – she’s willing to reinvent herself.

A few years ago I wrote a wildly controversial article about mid-forties praise band guitarists who are having tantrums because they refuse to give up their reverb and chorus pedals from 1984. It’s happening all over the country. Maybe they should have a talk with grandma.

Inevitably I get that comment “but you’ll get old, too – then what?” I AM old and have reinvented myself 4 times now – if I still played the piano like Dino, whipping up and down the keyboard – do you think I’d get very far these days in a praise band?

It’s been said that the only thing certain in life is change. So why not accept it and embrace it. You just might even have some fun.


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