Have you ever had one of those eerie experiences when people are laughing behind your back-but they won’t tell you why? It is embarrassing. Well, I’m sorry to have to report to my fellow boomers that it’s happening to us!
I teach the emerging generation, especially in the area of worship. And they are snickering at the way we “contemporary” Boomers do our “up to date” worship. I’ve been using a simple questionnaire in my classes of the emerging generation-asking “What makes you laugh and snicker about the way most churches do worship?” Get ready for the answers. Here they are:
Top Ten Most Commonly Laughed At
(Listed from most to less frequency)
(Listed in no particular order but representative of the other comments)
So… what comes around goes around. We Boomers laughed at our parent’s worship styles. Now our kids come along laughing at how we do worship. So long as we didn’t know about it we were just fine. But now that we know…what shall we do? I know one Boomer who wrote “I’m no longer going to chase after new styles of worship.” HA! Why not? Because he finally got worship the way he wanted it. But now emerges a newer generation with different tastes. What shall we do? Freeze in our style and tell them to get lost or find another church if that’s what they want? Do we try to adapt some of our worship to satisfy their preferences…like some oldsters did when we had our own worship wars? Do we quit calling our Boomer service “contemporary” and admit it is traditional-and start a new service more geared to the emerging generation? Or do we totally renovate our worship styles for them and anger all the Boomer-cum-oldsters in our congregation?
What do you think?
©2004 Keith Drury
Keith Drury served The Wesleyan Church headquarters in Christian Education and Youth leadership for 24 years before becoming a professor of religion at Indiana Wesleyan University. He is the author of more than a dozen books of practical spirituality, including Holiness for Ordinary People, Common Ground and Ageless Faith. Keith Drury wrote the Tuesday Column for 17 years (1995-2012), and many articles can be found on his blog “Drury Writing.”
Keith Drury retired from full time teaching in 2012. Keith is married to Sharon and has two adult sons and several grandchildren. He is retired in Florida with Sharon and enjoys cycling.