Bridging the Generation Gap

We had the privilege yesterday of celebrating the 90th birthday of a dear, sweet lady in our congregation. There are many things about her that inspire so many people. One in particular is that every week you will see her with the Worship Team as she passionately plays her violin. She is very talented and I am amazed at her musical versatility. She loves and plays well the old hymns of the church, but she also can play a mean fiddle and has a great feel for Hillsong, Chris Tomlin and Paul Baloche. I love the fact that she loves all styles of music. I don’t think musical “style” is part of her vocabulary. If a song brings glory to God and moves people to worship Him, that’s all that matters to her. We could learn a lot from her, both young and old.

Another thing about her amazes me. We also have two high school boys that play bass and percussion. One of them happens to be my son, Chris. These young men share that same passion for worship and music and bring an incredible amount of energy into the room. Sometimes this is a challenge for the rest of us who do not possess that much energy. It is a challenge as the leader at times as I attempt to channel that energy in a focused direction. I have noticed that our 90-year old violinist makes a point to connect with these two young men. She mentors them and encourages them in their gifts. I have heard her tell them how proud she is of them. She genuinely values them. This has had a profound impact on these boys. They help her up the steps and carry her violin for her. My son even walked her to her car with an umbrella after rehearsal so she wouldn’t get wet in a sudden downpour.

Something profound has taken place on our platform that has caught my attention. This dear senior saint has taken the time to embrace two teenagers. She has taken an interest in them and their music. As a result, I have seen these two young men embrace this lady who is old enough to be their great grandmother. They have begun to appreciate the older hymns and worship songs. Generational walls have been torn down and I am beginning to see that those same walls are beginning to fall out in the congregation. Worship can be trans-generational, and it should be. We are all better when it is. It forces our worship to not be about us, our preferences, or preferred styles. I believe that if we are not striving to  bridge  the generation gap in our worship, then we are not doing it right. Worship can, is, and should be relevant to all generations. I am watching it happen right before my eyes and we are better worshipers because of it. Somehow in all of it, God seems much bigger too!