A Multigenerational Vision of the Church and Worship

A Multigenerational Vision of the Church and Worship


I am still reviewing John Jefferson Davis’s book, Worship and the Reality of God. I am almost done. However, I was struck and blessed by something this afternoon. He argues persuasively for a multigenerational vision of the church that abandons the niche-market mentality which has hamstrung the church for the last 30 years. The niche-market mentality looks at Boomers or Gen X-ers (or what have you) and shapes and markets the church accordingly. As he made his case there were two elements that stood out: having the children in the service and blended worship (ancient-modern). A multigenerational vision of the church not only thinks about the church long-range, it also recognizes that the family of God is made up of babies and the aged and everyone in between. This multigenerational vision is then expressed in our worship by singing traditional hymns (1520-1870), gospel hymns (1870-1935) and early contemporary (1961-1980) and late contemporary (1981-present) songs. Of course doctrinal content and musical quality are non-negotiable. Nevertheless, it is important for the younger generation to know and sing the older songs of Zion. And it is also important for the older generations to sing the newer songs of Zion. The worship wars between “traditional” and “contemporary” are short-sighted and often parochial. The church is multigenerational and her worship should reflect this. I then smiled as I thought of preaching to our children this coming Lord’s Day and all of us singing together these songs:


You are Holy

God of My Days

Not What My Hands Have Done

Blest be the Tie that Binds


God of Wonders


May we all embrace a multigenerational vision of the church and enjoy it in our worship!