by Bob Whitesel, D.Min., Ph.D., 10/21/15.
I’ve observed at many Boomer and even Xer churches that the congregants often prefer slightly modernized versions of the choruses and worship songs that were popular in the period in which they were saved. And recently, I’ve seen the same things in my Millennial clients.
So, that got me thinking if people linked in their minds a “powerful worship experience” with the styles of music and worship that were utilized when they were saved.
We all know that the generation gap creates a communication gap, and so people often retreat into the familiar. Then we look across the “gaps” and because of the chasm we often don’t quite understand those on the other edge. But, to help facilitate growth and health we have to try to understand other cultures by looking at things from their perspective.
For example, I know many of you realize that many of older generations like to dress up on Sunday, and this may be because they remember how much of an honor it was to leave their factory workweek and dress up for Sunday. It showed honor and respect to their King.
Today many Boomer/Xer professionals dress up all week, and thus like to be causal on weekends (I do). Therefore, they point out that clothes don’t matter. And they are right, they don’t … to them. But to others who remember a long history of honoring God in this fashion (pun intended), clothes show honor to God.
I have a theory I would love some DMin or PhD student of mind to address in a dissertation. And that is:
“Do people have a tendency to get stuck in a time-warp during the era when we were saved.”
Now, here is the leadership exercise:
- Ask yourself, have you seen this?
- Have you ever seen people so impacted at a time when everything just seemed rosy that they are always trying to approximate and recreate that era?
I think we all have this predilection, and thus need to be encouraged to move forward with Jesus and understand emerging cultures. Remaining in the past makes us ineffective, and the Adversary knows it.
Below are some of the interesting (and humorous) stories from students in reply.