How is your church’s worship doing? Worship health gives an insight to the overall well-being of your church, and intergenerational worship plays an important role.
I had opportunity to discuss the connection between worship health and church health with my friend, David Manner, executive director of Church Forward. In this first half of a two-part series, David shares six suggestions to help create intergenerational worship in your worship service.
David will be our keynote speaker at the Renewing Worship EXPO.
To download this episode, click here.
- “As we consider church health, I believe the health of a church’s worship might be one good vital sign to give us insight to the overall health of the church.” (2:35)
- “I’m seeing so many churches today that perhaps originally divided their worship by worship preference or age divisions — kind of comes together a lot of times. But now we’re seeing over and over churches that see this great value of intergenerational worship where all generations are worshiping together in a very biblical model. And I really think that’s a sign of a healthy church.” (12:01)
- “Intergenerational worship is only possible if our common ground when we come together is being willing to defer each other — deference instead of landing on that preference. And being willing to set aside my preferences because I’m deferring to you.” (15:49)
Intergenerational Worship Notes
Healthy gathered intergenerational worship may not occur until we, as worship leaders, are willing to lead dispersed intergenerational worship first.
Here are six suggestions:
1. Lead them to pray for and with one another.
Praying for and with one another is not just praying for another generation to change its mind. Praying for and with one another requires communication, vulnerability, honesty, trust, brokenness, and selflessness.
2. Lead them to read Scripture to and with one another.
Scripture must be the foundation of intergenerational worship. Nothing softens the heart of a grandparent more than to hear his or her grandchild read the word of God.
3. Lead them to share ministry together.
Shared ministry requires sacrifice, humility, and an investment of time and trust. Serving others together encourages and generates unity that our music sometimes can’t.
4. Lead them to play together.
Those relationships exemplified by the Acts 2 church of spending time together, having everything in common, breaking bread in their homes, and eating together with glad and sincere hearts are often foreign relationships beyond our own generation.
5. Lead them to the Table together.
We keep trying to manufacture unity that is already available at the Communion Table. Unity is waiting for all generations there.
6. Lead them to sing together.
If unity is the basis of intergenerational worship during the week, then unity will yield intergenerational worship on Sunday. When that occurs, how can we keep from singing our various songs together?
For additional ideas for creating unity in intergenerational worship settings, check out the book, The Worship Ministry Guidebook, particularly in the discussion of Unified Worship and songs for intergenerational worship.
Dr. David Manner is the Executive Director of ChurchForward (formerly the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists). Before joining the convention staff in 2000, David
served for twenty years in worship and administration with churches in Kansas, Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Oklahoma Baptist University; a Master of Church Music
degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; and a Doctor of Worship Studies from the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies. David writes for various online and print publications, including his worship
evaluation blog: worshipevaluation.org (under renovation currently). He is also the author of the book, Better Sundays Begin on Monday: 52 Exercises for Evaluating Weekly Worship.