Multi-Generational Worship

On Day 2 of my trip to the Willow Creek Arts Conference I began the day with 2 sessions ran by Ross Parsley.I talked about the first one here, but I want to highlight the second session because it was phenomenal.

Ross began his talk by saying, “we aren’t good at declaring God’s works to other generations.” Yet God’s word (Psalm 145:4) tells us to do so. Examples of this: Saul never reached out to David and his kingdom began to fall, a dad never reaches out to his son and their relationship is strained after the son leaves the house. (Picture is of me, Ross Parsley, and Jay left to right)

His entire talk from here on centered around the model of the family dinner table. A positive image is when everyone from grandpa to baby are at the table, a negative image is when the parents and kids eat separately.

  • Every dinner table has a battleground topic (dating, morality, etc) and that battleground topic at the church is worship.
  • “It is easy to have dinner with people just like you.”
  • “There is a family dynamic (to church) that we are missing.”
  • “We need a church to match the wisdom/experience/resources of age with the energy/enthusiasm/innovation of youth.”

We Need 5 Things

  1. Churches must learn how to function as a family, embracing those different from them.
  2. We need cooperation and relationship between young and old.
  3. Milennials are blessing the church with innovation through technology. We need to embrace that.
  4. We need respect. Mutual respect.
  5. Humility. “You can’t use your armor for their battle.” 1st Peter 5:5-6.

My Thoughts: I know at my church and with my job, it is a CONSTANT STRUGGLE to find ways for young and old to not only be around each other, but to reach out to one another. So this topic totally hit home for me. At the same time I don’t know that I necessarily agree with everything he said. I’m still (even 2 weeks later) processing these things.

My question:

How do you see church operating? Is church as a family realistic? Is it how you would “do” church if you had the choice? How would you reach young and old within one church?

(sorry that is a lot of questions)

Creative Chaos @ the Soul.