Monday, May 16, 2011


Pastors face a unique situation in churches today.  For the first time in the history of the church, we have five generations present in most congregations.  It used to be that pastors led worship and delivered a sermon to two generations, parents and their children.  The task was simple: the pastor met the needs of the parents and provided a program of Christian Education for their children.

Today the world is different.  A pastor now must address a much more complex situation.  Think of it this way.  When selecting music or a musical style the oldest members in the congregation believe that nineteenth century hymn in four-part harmony are the true religious music.  Meanwhile, another generation believes that amplified music is more meaningful.  At the same time a younger generation, who has never even seen a vinyl record or heard of Fleetwood Mac, is listening to music from their MP3 player that is the size of a pack of gum!

Or consider this.  The pastor has to preach to a generation born in the Depression era for whom loyalty to an organization is a high value.  Meanwhile, the pastor also speaks to boomers who tend to distrust leaders and institutions and believe in non-traditional values.  At the same time, there are younger people present for whom the Space Challenger disaster was the formative event of their lives and Bill Clinton is the president they can remember most.  Further still is an even younger generation that has grown up on MTV, social networks, and Smart Phones.

The challenge before us?  Each one of these generations wants their voice to be heard in the church.

Just another part of our job.

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