Want to hear something amazing? Are you ready? God is seeking true worshipers! God Himself, the Creator of music, the Creator of fingers, ears and hands, tongues, toes and feet…the Creator of the angels, the same angels who sang with voices that He gave as they praised the wonder of “let there be light” with heavenly vocal chords…the One who made sound waves and frequencies…the One who holds the universe in His scarred hands…yes THIS GOD is seeking true worshipers. “The time is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him” John 4:23.
I wanted to reflect on this truth today before getting into this topic of integrating youth into a multigenerational worship service. See, because I get this question from people, “how do you seek out kids to help serve in this area of the body?” But the truth is, God has been seeking and pursuing them for a whole lot longer than I. Since the foundation of the world, that son or daughter is God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works that God Himself prepared beforehand. My job as a worship leader and youth pastor is to love God first, love all people as those made in His image, identify those that God is seeking, and from there to equip with the gifts God has given me those students that they may walk in those good works. This applies to all of us as shepherds, to any age person I believe by the way.
Seeking those students who are fit for service therefore, isn’t so much really about me and my seeking skills. God is at work…He’s been at work! How can I join what He’s doing in a student’s life and cultivate it? Are your eyes open to what He is doing or are you too focused on your own plans and goals? I know the answer for my own life…too often I get way ahead of the Head of this body. My bad Jesus; I guess I forgot the church is Your baby not mine. Ok…deep breath. Let’s start talking about getting kids involved in a worship service.
“It appears there is wisdom outside of peers”
You might be asking right now, “Dude, why are you so passionate about multigenerational worship teams?” To which I would reply, “Dudeman, it’s healthy!” (That’s probably exactly what I would say too haha). Here’s my thought. We’ve all been to the church where everyone is over 65 and things feel…well…dead. We might complain about the lack of enthusiasm, creativity or passion. Does a church like that have strengths? Of course it does! Wisdom from experience…a solid foundation…weathered and anchored faith. Or maybe you’ve been to the church where everyone is under 25. Man that’s fun! So much enthusiasm, so much creativity, so much passion. A church like that doesn’t have any weaknesses really right? Wrong. What this particular church could use is some wisdom, some depth, something bigger and stronger than emotions and feelings. (Not to peg every church that has an older congregation or younger crowd this way, there are always exceptions!)
A healthy church body in my opinion has both. The wisdom and experienced, rugged faith of an older worshiper combined with the vision, emotion and passion of a younger worshiper makes for a great spiritual team.
Our bands are like this too. For example, last week when I led I had a 47 year old bass player, a 16 year old pianist/keyboard player, a 19 year old drummer, a 34 year old guitarist, a 54 year old guitar player, a 30 year old female vocalist and myself on acoustic guitar…and I’m also 30 in case anyone cares. 🙂 Our sound guy that day was about 40 and the media “girl” was 45. The week before the band was mostly older but both of my singers were 15 and 16 year old girls from our youth group. I love the things we can learn from each other when we’re not only surrounded by peers!
Whether you’re a Worship Pastor at a large church, you help at a body that has several teams and different leaders each week, or you volunteer at your church that has you singing and the pastor’s wife playing piano…wherever God has you, I believe this concept of multigenerational teams is a healthy concept.
Bridging the ‘Gap’ between Youth Group and Church
We all have heard the stats about young people walking away from the church once they hit college…however true or inflated these numbers are, I think we can all agree on one thing. A lot of kids leave the church once they graduate high school and youth group, they just do. There are a number of reasons for this, but I personally believe that one major reason is this; youth group and the “big church” are way too different in most of our churches instead of it feeling like one big church that you just grow older in. Youth group is fun and energetic…everyone is your age, everyone has the same struggles, and can identify with you. You can do missions trips and service projects and really feel like you’re a part of something. Awesome right? But then you graduate…while you might sing some of the same songs sometimes as you did at youth group, maybe the enthusiasm just isn’t the same, there’s lot of older people who you don’t really fit in with and couples with little kids and suddenly…you don’t have an identity as someone that fits in, knows how to plug in and serve, or how to assimilate to the church. Awkward…I’m sleeping in instead or getting a weekend job.
To me, this is where it’s important to already have kids feel like they’re a part of the church…not just the youth group. It’s really bigger than just serving on the worship team, any type of service really is great, but since the worship team is vein of this forum, let’s focus on that as we go forward into future weeks. My next posts will talk a little more about how to actually do this and get it started as I talk about “training” and “integrating”. God bless.