Friday, October 14, 2016

Cross-Gen Choir

Our church, led by our pastor's passion, has become a leader in Cross-Gen ministry--I'm coming to think of it as a movement, as I'm seeing more and more interest.

Cross-Gen ministry means intergenerational ministry, but it's more radical than just including children in as many aspects of worship as we can.  It means changing our mindsets to rework worship completely, if need be, not only for youth, but for everyone.  It means rethinking--and perhaps eliminating completely--the ways we've traditionally done Sunday School and Confirmation.  And it's not just about supporting our families; we've got to do all of this in a context that includes those of us who have never had children, those of us who are not in committed relationships, and those of us (who are all of us) with some troubled history of family in our past.

I've been thinking about cross-generational ministry in the ways we do worship and education, but the other night, my spouse related to me an experience that made me also wonder if we should rethink choir and other forms of music. 

Our choir has rehearsal on Wednesday nights, and on this past Wed., a child was there with his grandmother who was taking care of some other church tasks.  The choir asked him if he wanted to play the bongos with them on a song.  He said yes, and they worked on the song together.  At the end of the session, the child said, "Can I come play with you on Sunday?"  My spouse said that there was such yearning in his voice--and of course, the choir was going to say yes.

I know that most churches have a growth model--how do we reach families and young people and anyone else who can fill our pews.  But there are advantages to being a small church.  We don't have enough children to have a traditional children's choir.  If I had children, it might make me sad that they weren't getting the children's choir experience of my youth.

Or I might be happy that adults would include my child in their choir.

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