I’d like to ask a question for some honest reflection – and ask readers to be reflective, not defensive, because this is an issue that I have seen all over the country and was brought to my attention via an e-mail via facebook today. I have removed all personal information and name of church and some other details to protect both the person who sent it and the church they are talking about:
Overall we really like the children’s ministry at our church. One area of concern, though, is the music played before, during, and after the children’s large group time. Basically, it’s often rock or heavy dance music and it’s played REALLY loud. I’ve talked to the children’s staff a few times and they seem to think it’s fine.
This past Sunday I was helping out and a kid in my group was autistic – the music was really overpowering to him and later when I mentioned that to one of the kids’ staff, they said that special needs kids could wait in the hallway during singing if the music bothered them. What?? I was shocked. Why not just turn it down?
Anyway, I wondered if you have any thoughts about children’s ministries today wanting to be “cool” and “digital” and “relevant” at all costs – because that is the type of ministry our church is running. Attempts to talk to them are fruitless, because the gap between their viewpoint and ours is so wide. No progress is made.
And yet they consistently talk about how much they love kids and want to reach them for Jesus – but the words and deeds don’t seem to match up.
(reposted with permission)
I think this concerned parent has a very valid concern. How can we claim to love kids and be so indifferent to the needs of children? Why must music be so stinkin’ loud at church? I’m blessed with 50% hearing, but most kids are not. I’m often appalled at how loud music is played at some churches. Is that really necessary? Does God need it that loud to hear our worship? Wouldn’t he rather hear the kids voices anyway? (I’m having a little fun here!)
But seriously, I have been in many children’s ministry situations where the people on stage were so “into” their performance on stage they couldn’t even see children covering their ears and in many cases even crying in the front row! I’ve been a speaking at places where children were sitting outside because the music was PAINFUL to them, and the “rock star” worship leaders were oblivious that they were not connecting with the kids because they could only see the “sea” of kids moving and jumping – and could not see the individual kids who were hating it. And when I tried to talk to them about maybe playing “kid appropriate music” the answer was, “they love it.” One older Godly lady said (just to me), “Well, they’d love drugs too, but we don’t give them drugs.” That was a little harsh, but she had a point. Just because kids love something – isn’t an argument for doing it.
What do YOU think? Do you think we have gone too far in the rock n’ roll worship music? Have we lost the innocence of children’s music so they have nothing to look forward to as a teenager? Do you miss kids songs, the fun, the lyics, the motions, the silliness?
I can tell you, when I lead music with my guitar – I lead “old style” and the kids love it and often tell me they prefer it – and it is requested all the time over the big bands and and rock n roll, even though they “love” that too. And I have NO musical talent! I’m a 3 chord (D, A & G) guitar player! But I can jam and sing all the classics super fast and super sloooooow and silly and then worshipful and reverently. I don’t use CDs or a backup band, and the kids worship from their heart. But that’s just when I lead. I often delegate that and then my team has used CDs, and I’m not against that at all. I’m just asking about the volume and if you think sometimes it gets out of hand in some venues.
This email today, made me want to ask what you think??