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?
contemporary songs can be as good as hymns if the worship leader would study them deeper and give good insights about them. For me, singing is just half of the equation... half of it depends on whether we can open up the minds/hearts of the congregation to relate to whatever song is playing... whether hymns or contemporary.
I think the MOST important thing is that everything you do, whatever the style and taste, is focused on God.
Whatever your congregation is, listen to them to see what works and what doesn't, but overall PRAY, PRAY and PRAY again before you practice and play. It's the key to a fraternal worship band, and a quality in the music that doesn't come only from human talents, but raises from God using these talents.
In the catholic church, we're lucky to have a liturgy that has a rythm in itself, wich calls to variety and creativity for those daring enough to try AND wise enough to try understanding what the liturgy means instead of changing it just for the sake of change.
We also do more spontaneous worship, were modern worship songs also have all there place.
But the most important guide is the Spirit, and the best method is to pray.
Is worship something that we should look to to make ourselves happy, or is worship something that we are called to do by God. Both forms of worship _are_ worship, and the churches that we work at/for need to understand that. It's incredibly hard to do that, seeing as there are some people who will not change for anything. But the first thing that they need to know is that both forms of worship _are_ worship.
Keep it a mix. The older ones love seeing the younger ones lead worship - it brings a youth and liveliness to the service. The younger ones [although not so vocal about it] love learning about the faith journeys of the older ones and love seeing the stability. Let the youth lead the service 1-2 times a month, let them plan it [under your supervision] and see what happens. But if you are going to change, introduce it slowly and keep whatever form of worship founded on the One who calls us. Ultimately, worship is not for us. Worship is -from- us, -for- God. And gently prod the ones who complain, or don't change, reminding them of who worship is for, what worship is for, and that hymns _aren't_ the only form of worship acceptable and pleasing to God. :)
Thanks a lot Lisa for the idea. Now I have accumulated a barn of very good ideas from all of you folks. Thanks again Lisa. You're taking up Theology and Worship and Music? Those are cool majors. I am praying for you, sister. God bless you.