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Too Old for Worship??

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  • Too Old for Worship??

    Hello All, I am a 60 something Christian drummer in a church that has 2 services on a Sunday and about 300-400 attending. We have a worship pastor and four other worship leaders leading teams on a three month schedule. We do the current worship style with songs from Chris Tomlin, Lincoln Brewster, Starfield and others. I have been drumming on teams for about 5 years until lately.

    I have removed myself from the rotation for a couple of reasons. The first one being that we currently have eight drummers,and I am the oldest of the eight (six of the eight are under 25) and I kinda feel that it might be more important for the young drummers to be involved in the worship, Also maybe I was being selfish but I ended up being up once in the 12 week schedule. It made me feel out of touch with the songs.

    I'm not sure where to go with this? I have some opportunities for secular music but I don't know if my heart is in that.

    I'd appreciate your experiences and input.


  • #2
    My recommendation is to move to Panama City Beach, FL where I can put you to work and the weather is warm. Bring 2 of the other 8 drummers down here with you to prove that Winnipeg is not being selfish themselves with drummers. I in turn will trade seven of my acoustic guitar players (willing to consider raising the number of acoustic players if necessary). :}

    In all seriousness, I would say it depends on the vision of your church leadership. Their vision and mission should help to answer your questions appropriately.

    I may post more later but it's getting late and I have an early morning. I'll check in later.


    • #3
      You should probably talk directly to the ministry director about that. Just be honest. Say to him/her what you said here, and pose it as a question. Where do you go from here?

      That being said, you are never too old. Our drummer is nearly 60 (don't tell him I said that), and for a while he stuck mostly with light jazz rhythms (partly due to the church culture at the time). Now he can rock with the best. Age isn't a factor...heart is.


      • #4
        Thanks for the offer.... But we have lots of guitarists!


        • #5
          We've had that discussion but I think she gets pressured to use everyone according to their schedules and availability. She has left the door open if I want to return


          • #6
            A couple of thoughts here...

            First of all, if Moosicman's Florida offer is too far away, we could also help relieve your drummer surplus here in Columbus, Ohio :-P

            On a more serious note, I'll agree with what has already been said here - you're never too old. Sometimes players of different generations may excel at certain styles over others, but as long as someone can hang with what we're doing, they'll have a place on my team, no matter what their age is.

            From a scheduling perspective, it sounds like you have a real abundance of talent in your church - 8 drummers in a church of 400 is a lot of players! From a player's perspective, I can see how it would be frustrating to be scheduled so little, but from a worship leader's perspective, I understand how it could happen. Our church is quite a bit smaller than yours (~150), so I schedule a month at a time, and make sure everybody get's scheduled at least once a month. With a 3 month rotation, things would get a little more complicated, especially since (as you said), your leader is under pressure to make sure everybody is getting used.

            It certainly doesn't sound like your leader has any ill will towards you - she's just juggling a lot of players. If you really feel like you're being called to step aside and let the younger guys come up, I don't think there's anything wrong with that, but I definitely don't think age should be a factor to stepping aside if you want to continue on and your leader wants to use you.
            Eric Frisch


            • #7
              Is there some auxiliary perc. that could be added into your mix on a regular basis? I'm not talking about standing around with a triangle to hit just to give someone to do but some seriously focused stuff to enhance the rhythm and texture in the mix. As it would be another drummer attending rehearsals and such, that would give that person more familiarity with the songs and arrangements.


              • #8
                I haven't been contributing a lot to the other discussions but it's interesting to see discussions about volume, song selection, and even electronic drums. We are dealing with all these subjects. I am also an elder on the board so I have seen and heard all these issues. We have people who want more hymns on a Sunday morning and young people who want Christian "thrash" on Sundays.

                We have had people leave due to song selection and others because of volume. We have a couple who enter the sanctuary after the praise and worship because she experiences head aches from exposure to the volume. We have leaders who ignore volume levels. We have sound techs who do the same.

                Because we have a fairly boxey room we have had three different proposals for sound mitigation presented to the board and we are considering proposal number four right now which involves moveable heavy curtains.

                Sorry I guess I am ranting a bit.

                As for myself I think I wil enjoy the time off, hang on to my kit, and see what God has for me. He has always been faithfull to me. Bobby D.


                • #9
                  Hey, wanted to chime in here as well --- a couple of suggestions:

                  #1: talk to your Worship Pastor, ASAP.
                  #2: adding percussion (tastefully) is a great way to get more folks playing, but there's a catch --- not every drummer is a percussionist, and it's a bit annoying to have someone playing percussion if all they do is slap the low conga where the kick is and the high conga where the snare is! ;-)
                  #3: do you have other venues that can use live drums? Start staffing live bands in your youth and children's ministry ... we've done that now and have more people involved and the kids LOVE having a live band instead of sing-along DVDs!

                  Lastly, just want to applaud you for being transparent and honest about the situation. 60+ is definitely not too old. Seasoned/mature is a good word. Our #1 drummer is probably pushing 60 ... and I love having him play. He can hear anything once and can play any style.

                  God bless
                  Fred McKinnon, Pianist/Composer/Worship Leader
                  blog: www.fredmckinnon.com

                  Please check out my piano/instrumental music at:


                  • #10
                    So glad that God loves me no less or more at age 53. I can still kick it with the 20 somethings...although I'm old enough to be their father. I kind of like it like that!!


                    • #11
                      We have had people leave due to song selection and others because of volume. We have a couple who enter the sanctuary after the praise and worship because she experiences head aches from exposure to the volume. We have leaders who ignore volume levels. We have sound techs who do the same.
                      The volume issues can be a serious issue. If people are getting headaches, that's a problem. That's happened to me before- the subs were cranked in a brick room with a bad echo and after 10 minutes my head was throbbing...

                      Problem is, 95% of people in charge of FOH sound (leaders or sound techs) have no training in how to make it sound 'good'. They mean well, but have little (if any) training in things like frequency response, harmonics, phasing, resonance, all the stuff relating to the physics of 'sound'.

                      In most cases, churches wind up with sound systems that are way overpowered for what they need. Sound systems are kind of like race cars- they are built to run in a 'sweet spot'. If you try to take a race car and putt it around town, it's hard to control, it runs bad, etc. Sound systems are the same way. They have a 'sweet spot' that they are designed to run most efficient and clear. If you try to take a big system and choke it back, it sounds bad. That's the situation many churches find themselves in. They try band-aids like curtains, foam, panels, etc. when the real issue is the system is overkill.

                      I would *strongly* recommend bringing in a pro that sets up sound systems (not your local GC salesman, resident DJ, or Crutchfield junkie, but an established expert in room acoustics and sound systems) to review your situation. They can help you be realistic about your situation and usually recommend a setup that's cheaper, easier and sounds better than you could come up with on your own. Odds are you will spend a bunch of money going 'trial and error' and still wind up with a mediocre setup.
                      Last edited by Mike on Bass; 01-08-2013, 05:16 PM. Reason: took 4 times to spell "people"...
                      If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.


                      • #12
                        Off topic but I agree with Mike^ and I'll go one further re sound.. your 'boxy' room probably has nothing to do with your sound problem. Adding curtains might help, but thats like folks complaining about the volume of an air horn, so the solution is to put the air horn under a pillow... stop blowing the air horn. (or stop building drum iso booths!) correct Stage volume, the skill of your FOH tech and improving the technique/skill of your band can fix almost any room.

                        BACK to the topic at hand, I'm 35 and don't consider myself too old to lead. You retain a sphere of influence 10 years + or - your age. Mine would be 25-45... the money demo.. JK

                        You have 8 drummers in a church of 600-800 for 2 weekly services?? Sounds like the leaders need to be a little more selective in who they add to the team.


                        • #13
                          Dude...my drummer is 60, and he is amazing. He loves our band, loves to lead worship, loves our churcj. The average age of our church is somewhere in the 30's, and nobody cares about his age. I've told him to give me at least two weeks notice before he dies of old age so I can find his replacement...hopefully that's not for a long time.

                          Practical Worship

                          Please Pray For My Wife


                          • #14
                            Thank you

                            Hello folks,
                            I must give a big Thank You and a hug for such encouragement. I am a worship leader at a small church plant. I was hired because no one else applied a year ago. At that time I was told the church would continue to search for a younger person. Then in June it was made official that I was the new worship leader. My husband and I are a team. I lead with singing he with guitar or synthesiser. I took a 2 person team and have now 8 members of our praise team. Our church has tripled in size bringing in alot of new people searching for Christ. Then, last week it hit. The pastor told me I was too old. I am 60. My heart sank as he has decided to bring in a young man fresh outta high school to lead. All of our praise team is of high school and college age except 3. We worship with all the latest. I just dont get it why the pastor would want to divide the church that is growing in spirit as well as in Christ. Our praise team is like brother and sister. We care about each other and serve the best we can each Sunday all for His glory. Am I outta place on this one? And yes our team can kick it high for Christ. Cannot tell you how many times I have looked across the congregation and see heads bowed in His presence or hands reaching for the heavens during His worship. Thank you so much for your comments but most of all thank you for the comments already made. I will never stop worshipping my Lord no matter what my age.


                            • #15
                              Saying someone is too old for the task is more concerned about the image. I understand what that pastor is going through, but he is outta line.