Too Old To Play On Worship Teams?

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discussingworship

On January 8th, 2014 we republished an article by Manuel Luz entitled The Issue of Age In Modern Worship?

There has been lots of discussion on that post here AND on Manuel’s original post over at his blog.

LOTS of discussion!

In our forums there are at least 2 threads going on about the topic. Some thoughts from our members:

A 61 year old drummer says,

“There are a lot of us “seasoned” players out here that still have a lot to contribute, and I’m confident that the Lord will provide you with those opportunities, just as he did for me. I’m turning 61 this year and I see no end in sight yet for my musical contribution to the Lord. What I’ve come to realize is at our age we’ve gained a lot of insight and knowledge about what it takes to make good music. It’s not just your drumming skills that’s a valuable contribution to the younger players, it’s your discipline, timing, professional attitude, etc. that young people can benefit from. And that’s been gained from years of doing it.

I love to see younger people taking an active interest in playing on worship teams, but it’s the more “seasoned” members of the team that can have a lifelong influence on these young folks. You can’t tell me the Lord doesn’t have a use for that.”

A 43 year old worship leader says,

“For me, I want us to be multi-generational, not just in the musical selections, but in those who lead it. I’d like to have a youth worship leader and an older one. At 43 years old, I start looking around and hoping there is a place for me.

But passing the baton, and passing your mantle of authority and leadership is a God-thing. IT’s all through the Bible. We don’t have to be scared of it. And just because we may pass the baton to a younger generation “on the main stage at church” doesn’t mean we give up our ministry. There are tons of nursing homes, hospice care, schools, etc., that would LOVE to have a group of “gray elephants” come play and sing and lead them in some music.”

So, perhaps we deal with a bit of entitlement as well.

A seasoned worship leader:

“There comes a time when the old Generals need to retire so the young Lieutenants can get the experience they need. I commend you for being humble enough to let that happen. And because you did, the Lord was able to lead you to a place where you will be an even more valuable asset to the Body of Christ as a mentor and servant.”

A middle of the road bass player.

“Yes, there needs to be a fresh pipeline of emerging worship leaders. I agree that it helps younger people make a better connection if they see more people their age involved in a visible ministry like worship team. But how did we get from there to the mandate of “if you’re gray, go away”?

My take is why can’t the team represent a cross section of the church? My team covers 3 generations. It’s a good cross-section of our congregation.”

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The general question has many layers:

1) Should churches push out seasoned worship leaders/musicians/singers in favor of younger, cooler worship leaders for the sake of the “folks they are trying to reach?”

2) Should older, seasoned worship leaders/musicians/singers “retire” to coach and mentor younger worship leaders/musicians/singers only?

3) Should churches fill the teams with folks of all ages, shapes, and sizes, regardless of cool factor?



is the Associate Director of Worship & Media at St. Simons Community Church, where he mentors, oversees and helps lead Family and Student worship environments. He is also the content curator and editor here at The Worship Community and at HighestPraise.com.

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