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07 Sep '13

I can't figure this one out and I suspect Jesus is perplexed as well

Posted by T.J. Addington in church programming, music, seniors
I spoke to another long time friend yesterday who is looking for a new church. Not because he does not love his current church, or the pastor or the theology. This is what makes it so difficult for him. He does not want to go. He is being forced to leave because the music is so loud that it literally gives him pain. Yes he has tried the earplugs and such and has been told he can sit outside in the foyer which to him is like being banished. He and his wife are in great pain because of all the deep friendships and their long time church family. But they have concluded they have no choice.

What I cannot figure out is why we are so insensitive to a segment of our body that we cannot accommodate those for whom the music is way, way too loud. This friend has no problem with the style of music per se. He does wish there were alternatives for him and a whole group that feels that way in the church. But of course they are older and don't count.

This congregation has several services so it is not as though there are not options to do differing worship experiences, even if one is just acoustic. I know many many churches who provide different worship experiences for differing groups. It seems, however that this issues is not on the radar of many congregations and that because of that they are sending a strong message to many seniors and others who are not of the the loud band persuasion that they are not valued.

Of course it is driven by younger pastors for whom the music fits. What, I wonder will they think when their own ears start to change and they are no longer comfortable with the loudness and they become uncomfortable themselves. While this is not just an age thing, it is clearly a problem for many seniors whom our church youth culture and its practices is unwilling to accommodate. These are the faithful who have stuck in there for many years and in many cases made the church what it is today.

Most pastors I talk to about the issue blow it off. They just don't care. I would think that would perplex Jesus who cares for everyone. Our desire for numbers and success is sometimes at the expense of the very people who we should be ministering to. Marginalizing those who cannot take the loud music is no different that marginalizing other groups in the church - especially if the church has the ability to do differing worship styles.

I know this is not politically correct but think about it from Jesus point of view. I suspect He may be perplexed as well.