Please pardon the lateness of this post. I’ve been working on a workshop presentation I’m giving at a worship leader’s conference this coming week (details here), so I’m a little behind.
In the meantime, I was somewhat inspired by a conversation taking place over in the Vineyard Worship Leader’s private Facebook group. Someone started a conversation on the topic of older worship leaders being fired in favor of younger, cooler leaders. This person was pretty upset by this trend, and I tend to agree, so in honor of that conversation, I present 5 reasons to maintain a multi-generational worship team.
1. Life Experience Is Important
Just because a person has played music a long time doesn’t guarantee that they’re a world-class musician, but on worship teams, as I’ve said before musicianship isn’t the primary criteria for selecting team members anyway. See How to recruit good team members: 5 tips. What the right quality of team member should have, though, is some good wisdom, built on a close relationship with Jesus. Being part of the same team with someone can help build trust in ways you may not normally get, so it’s a chance for life experience of all kinds to be passed on.
2. Communicates to the rest of the church that you really value people as people
This should be obvious, but if your church is constantly just putting the young and hip folks up on stage, it sends a subtle message that only the young and hip really matter to your church (and maybe to Jesus). I can’t think of any organization where that’s a good thing, except maybe professional sports (even there, it has its limits).
3. Gifts get better with age
I expect to be far better as a leader and musician at age 60 than I am now and I know the guys on the team I work with are far beyond me in expertise simply because they’ve done it longer.
4. Age brings natural authority
This assumes that the team members in question also know how to respect authority as well. This helps when you need people on your side within the team, but it can also help when you need an advocate with the pastor or church board. I can also attest that encouragement from someone far older than myself means a lot more than from someone my age or younger.
5. Your worship team can serve as a model for the rest of the church
I guess this is kind of the same as #2, but I think it bears repeating from another angle. The worship, at least in the churches I’m familiar with, is one of the most public ministries there is. If you do it right, you may end up seeing what you do modeled with other ministries, and you may actually be proud of it.
So, please take time today to thank the older members of your worship team and help them feel loved.