Every church has a mixed crowd, Youths, Adults and Older people. The youths prefer the Contemporary Worship songs, the older ones, especially those who were raised up in conservative evangelical churches, prefer Hymns. The youths prefer the overhead projector, while the older ones prefer the Hymnal.
The youths singing with CW songs want to move a lot and stand even for an hour in worship, the older ones do not.

What is the best thing a worship leader can do to stop the fuss between these two?

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I would suggest that this is something to be worked through with the church leadership. Do they want to do their best to keep everybody happy or do they feel that the Lord is taking that church in a particular direction. If the latter then they can teach into that approach. As we all know there are songs that contain good amounts of truth in both the tradional and the more contemproary and it's the truth we need to be singing!

So in summary I'd say it's not just for the worship leader but part of the direction of the church!

Thats my few pence worth! Any one else :-)

Thanks for the input Mark, that's a bright idea. God bless you, brother.
We have 3 services. The early Sunday service is for the hymns and southern gospel type of crowd. The main Sunday service is a full blown contemporary service with an occasional hymn thrown in, contemporary style. We recently started a Saturday night service that is contemporary but has fewer breaks in the service and eliminated our Sunday evening service. The Saturday service is often the exact same as the Sunday main service, but with a couple more songs.
we have only one service, brother.
Sounds like you are talking about two worship services. One contemporary, one traditional. The way most churches handle it is to pick one or the other style or have two+ services. It really goes beyond just the worship team.

I am pastoring a small country church with membership less than 100. Our church holds only one service on Sunday morning. We have a mixed congregation. Most of my members are older adults with ages ranging from 50-80 years old. I have only more than 20 youth members but they prefer contemporary style, esp. those songs from Hillsong. But the older ones dislike them because some of them cannot understand English. They prefer Hymns in our vernacular.
Is it possible to get some contemporary songs translated or write some of your own. I know it's easier said than done but wondered if that would help bridge the gap. I'm one of those people who struggles to speak in one language :-) never mind two or more so I can't imagine how hard it must be to feel engaged in corporate worship in a language I wasn't familiar with!

I do wonder also if it's possible to get folks thinking about how they want their church to grow. Perhaps the older folks could be helped to recognise that whilst God is passionate about them and loves them, loves them, loves them He feels the same for the youngsters and also the youngsters you don't yet have in your church but who you want because you want the kingdom of God to grow!


Count me in the "two services" camp as well. IMHO, "blended worship" just gives you a service with something for everybody to dislike.

When our church first met, we had one service, which was a traditional service with a choir. When we had enough people attending to start a second service, the pastor said he wanted "something different" - and he and I worked together to start a contemporary service. I suspect he'd have been happy if that second service had turned out to be gospel, Taize (quiet, meditative), folk... he just wanted an option. I happened to be the person who was willing to work with him to put together the new service, so it turned out contemporary (sort of "classic contemporary," I guess, we did a lot of Maranatha, Vineyard and Integrity stuff, and I kinda dragged my feet on bringing in a lot of the more modern things).

I went to a worship seminar a while back where they were talking about "heart music" - for most people, the music that speaks to them the most is whatever music was popular when they were high school age. I take my mom to a water therapy class where everyone in the class is 70+. The senior center where the class meets plays the local "oldies" station, and their playlist is now the mid-sixties stuff - Beatles, soul music, etc. This is the music that was popular when these people's KIDS were in high school, so it's music that has negative memories for a lot of these people. The instructor brings big band / "singers and standards" CDs to play during the class and we have the Rec Center turn off the PA.

So I think the best thing a worship leader could do to stop the fuss is to work with the pastor to create a traditional service with hymns, maybe a choir - and then to make the contemporary service work as a contemporary one. To me, the term "worship leader" suggests contemporary music, so it might mean the church would need to hire a similar person to do the traditional service (in my experience, those who can do both contemporary and traditional services "right" are pretty rare).

Or, as Mark sorta suggested... decide what direction your church is being called and do that well. What types of services are already available in your area? If there are lots of contemporary worship services available nearby, maybe the church should focus on doing a traditional service well...

Or you could try something weird like... from 9:00 to 9:30, you have contemporary worship music; then there's a short break and you have the sermon, prayer time, communion; then there's another short break and you have hymn singing. And the people who don't care for contemporary worship come into the sanctuary during that first short break; those who don't like hymns leave during the second one. I never could convince our pastor to try this, though...

Thanks Justin a very practical suggestion.
Thanks John for the advice. Yeah, NEVER NEVER leave out HYMNS. They are very good grassroots of theology of worship.
Thanks Mike for the comment and very good idea. I understand that what you want in worship is BALANCE as to what kind of music is to be used. You hit the bull's eye. Mix contemporary worship songs with traditional hymns. mmmm nice. and thanks also for the website. I'll do what you said ASAP. God bless you brother.
That is a tough situation. You have to mix in something for all the age groups, but probably some will be unhappy anyway.

Perhaps you could have a time specifically for upbeat youth-friendly worship songs starting 12-15 minutes before the main service time. Let the youth know so they (and anyone else who wants to) can show up for it. Then at the regular starting time, transition into the songs that won't send the older folks running out of the church, tearing the hearing aids our of their ears.
Also, we have had some success taking hymns and putting a slight contemporary feel by playing them on acoustic or electric guitar, and adding other instrumentation. Familiar enough for the older folks, and and yet not boring music for the teens. There are some really great hymns.


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