I believe every generation has a song to contribute to the faith.
Growing up in church, I remember being a part of the youth choir and even the praise team in our youth group. I had a blast! We would sing the fun, new contemporary songs and then sing some hymns in “big church.” (Truth be told, to this day I still refer to it as “big church.”)
As a guy with an ever-changing voice in my teenage years, I felt like a lost puppy dog trying to find a note to sing that wouldn’t crack under pressure. Ah, yes, the good ole’ days where I was a low alto and wake up the next day discovering new notes a bass could sing.
I don’t really remember the rehearsals and taking time to learn parts for youth choir or praise team, I just remember leading in church and in our youth group with these contemporary songs for music and worship.
I was fascinated by the response from people hearing the new music. Some of the senior adults didn’t like it, the young people were excited their music was now leading worship, and parents were just proud their teenager was singing in church.
But something interesting happened: the moment we led a song everybody knew in a worship service, the place would erupt with singing. All the voices coming together, across generations, because of familiar music… it was a song for all generations. It could be a contemporary song or a hymn of the faith, but if everyone knew the song, the church was singing together.
My generation, specifically, was able to participate with the songs from the former generation and pursue the new songs for the next generation. Every generation had a song to contribute to the faith. Every generation had a voice to sing.
But, how do we find the balance? How can we find the songs that honor generations before us, but also give a voice for the generation to come?
I serve as one of the worship pastors at First Baptist Hendersonville, just outside Nashville, where our guiding Scripture verse is Psalm 145:4, “One generation will declare your works to the next and proclaim your mighty acts.” This verse resonates with the National Worship Leader Conference (NWLC) because this year the theme is Generation to Come based off of Psalm 78.
In two weeks, worship leaders from all over the country will gather in Nashville to seek spiritual renewal, community and an opportunity to grow as a leader. With ideas brewing in every workshop session and large group meeting, there will be ways to grow, learn and discern how to apply this newfound information and make it relevant for their church.
At the NWLC this year, I will be teaching four workshop sessions to help worship leaders start finding the balance for the generation to come in music and worship.
- Hymns of the Faith with Today’s Newest Music. This is where you can learn practical tips on incorporating hymns with today’s contemporary music. We will discuss ways to connect with every generation in your congregation through music and worship.
- The Bridge: Developing the Next Generation of Worship Leaders. As a former youth pastor, I will teach on how to effectively lead music and worship for Generation Z, develop the next generation of worship leaders and how to help students lead your congregation in worship. This is multigenerational worship at its finest!
- Millennial Worship: How to Lead Them. During this workshop, we will see what it takes to lead millennials at your church in music and worship but also learn how to equip the millennial worship leader.
- A Voice for the Generation to Come: Starting a Choir with Your Band and Praise Team. Let’s face it, not everybody is ready to sing a solo or lead out with the band, but I bet they could sing with several others and lead confidently and more effectively. In this session, I will help you develop your first steps in starting a worship choir with your praise team to help give every generation a voice in worship.
I believe every generation has a song to contribute to the faith. We, as worship leaders, have the opportunity to give a voice for the generation to come. I hope to see you in two weeks in Nashville as we seek God and learn how to tell the the Generation to Come the praises of our Lord!
To all my music and worship leader friends, use promo code JOSH and get $200 off of your ticket to the National Worship Leader Conference in Nashville!