More Than Music

Twenty-Something Trevin Wax, waxes about what he thinks his generation is looking for in church and how Boomers are getting it wrong.  I take issue with Trevin’s (seemingly) implying that church is a place, that people must be brought there and that attracting more folks of any generation is the task of a church. But in spite of my objections I still think his words are worth reading and wondering through, especially if you believe updated music is the golden egg that will magically attract 18 to 30 year-olds to your church building weekly.  They have iPods remember?

Here’s an excerpt:

My generation is musically fragmented. Some of my classmembers like Country music. Others like P.O.D. and Disciple. Some are into soft rock. One loves anything Classical. The majority like folksy rock, but there’s no consensus. The Iraq war veteran in our class (tattooed and tough) has a soft spot for the Carpenters, Celtic chants, and the crooners of the 40’s and 50’s. iTunes and iPods. We are a generation of many styles.

The idea that a “contemporary” music service is going to reach my generation just makes me laugh. No one in my class is there for the music. They are all there for the relationships and the Bible teaching. Not that the music is unimportant… it’s just not central.

Even funnier is the mindset among the Boomer generation that if we were to start using the organ and singing hymns again that all the young people would leave. The Boomer generation is making the same mistake that their parents did, thinking that what attracted them to church is what will attract their kids. Sorry. It isn’t happening. Furthermore, musical style isn’t much of a factor anyway.

For some reason, I have a feeling that most churches don’t really want to invest in the 20something crowd. It’s almost become an expectation that people will drop out of church between 18 and 30 and then return when they have kids and are ready to start “real life.” Meanwhile, the 20somethings are drinking their lives away, buying into the American dream of materialism, and starting off marriages on shaky foundations.

It’s easy to update musical style and think that this is the “sacrifice” it takes to reach the younger crowd. It’s much harder to actually invest in the relationships and serious Bible teaching that are actually more effective in reaching the 20somethings.

Let’s keep hoping in the 20somethings and stop cursing them with low expectations or old-fashioned ideas. ”Contemporary” worship is so old anyway. Let’s bring this generation back to the church with what they might have missed during their childhood and youth group experience: the gospel!

Read the whole post.