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.”
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?