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Worship WARS: The Problems and How to Fix Them

5. Older leaders make decisions that belong to younger leaders.

Far too often in the church, I have seen older leaders make decisions that rightly belong to younger leaders.

There is a role for middle-aged leaders and older leaders. They bring wisdom to the table and a seasoned viewpoint that is almost impossible to find in someone who is starting out.

I’m not slamming others. I am in my 40s. I am the oldest person on our staff team.

Even though I’m fairly up to date on culture, music and technology, I’m not sure I’m the guy who should be calling the music, design or cultural shots at our church.

I’m not sure most leaders over 40 should be. Not if you want to impact the next generation.

Sitting around the table at our service programming meetings are leaders who are 10-30 years younger than me (we almost always have a teenager in the mix). I trust their judgment more than mine when it comes to how our services will connect with the people we’re trying to reach.

I have just seen too many leaders in their 40s, 50s and 60s make decisions that alienate younger generations and then sit around and ask where all the young people went. Don’t be that leader.

How do you address this?

Ensure that you have younger leaders around your leadership table and empower them to make decisions that impact your organization.

That’s what I see. I’d love to know what you’re seeing and experiencing.

By the way, as I’ve written this I feel the same tension I do when I speak on this subject. The term ‘contemporary’ worship/music/services seem so awkward and outdated, but I haven’t heard a better one. So … a $25 Starbuck’s gift card to anyone who’s got a better term. Leave a comment. I’ll pick the one I like best as the winner.

What challenges do you see around music in the church?  

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Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.