Clash of Generations

If you’ve been in the music ministry for a while then you are likely now experiencing a mix of generations among the musicians you’re working with. The new musicians coming up in your church are probably much younger than you are.

If you’re just stepping into the music ministry then you may be stepping into a ministry with musicians who are much older than you.

Working together can lead to a clash of generations. For both the younger inexperienced musicians and the older experienced ones this can be a huge challenge but also a great blessing if handled according to God’s Word.

I’ve been in the music ministry a long time – since I was thirteen years old. God has always been faithful to surround me with gifted musicians to work with and, as I like to say, people that “get me.” They understand my quirks and my laid back ways. As I’ve gotten older (and I’m not claiming old age anytime soon, the younger musicians coming along and working with the worship team are looking younger and younger.

I’ve noticed that the music they choose to sing has a youthful current sound. They are very relaxed in the way they dress, relaxed in the way they sing on stage but very serious about their walk with the Lord. Sounds like an easy group to adapt to and work with doesn’t it?

Not necessarily. We seasoned musicians often get set in our ways and when we have to work side by side with someone who sees, hears and does things differently it can lead to a clash.

As in all areas of our lives, God’s Word gives us direction on how to work side by side with those younger and/or older than we are. I Timothy 5:1-2 tells us to “treat the older women as mothers and the young women as sisters, in all purity.” (ESV) The same principle applies to treating the older men as fathers and the younger men as brothers.

In other words, we are a family and we are to love, respect, mentor, support and learn from each other as brothers and sisters do – the older to the younger and the younger to the older.

You seasoned musicians, bear with the younger ones – just as a baby has to learn to walk so these younger musicians have to learn how to use their gifts to minister. You younger musicians, learn from those older. They have many years of experience to draw from. As Ephesians 4:2 says, “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.“(ESV)

If you find yourself in the midst of a music ministry and all the new faces are much younger (or older) than yours, take this to heart. Do your part to bring them alongside and encourage them. As far as you’re concerned, don’t allow the clash of generations to take over your music ministry.