This past weekend, I got to see Gungor on their Ghosts Upon the Earth tour at Santa Ana (a couple of blocks away from where we used to live in OC).
It was an amazing experience. They were great. They had a slam/spoken poet with them who just blew everyone out of the water.
I couldn’t get over how many young people showed up, especially since a couple of weeks ago, a colleague asked, “Where did all the young people go?”
The venue was packed. Majority of the people in attendance were young adults. But the crowd was still diverse. Even if we didn’t know one another, there was a sense of oneness in the air. Sure, we came to hear Gungor, but we also came to see what God is doing through them and those who listen to their God-given gifts. We had church. We were church.
Sure, majority (if not all) of the young adults there were church going folks. But still. There were hundreds of young adults packed into this small and intimate venue.
The truth is, whether young or old, in these times, people will make time for something they value, something they find important.
The bigger truth is, a lot of our churches in the Cal-Pac Annual Conference haven’t given something exciting for the young people to invite friends to, haven’t given something worth of value.
Worship shouldn’t be preference driven, nor product/consumer driven. I think that’s a trouble many of us pastors get into – making consumers out of church goers.
But, there’s no shame, I believe, in wanting and striving for excellence and relevance in our worship.
And if we want to strive for excellence and relevance, we have to give ourselves room to experiment, and more importantly, room to fail.
Gungor’s music brought many people to that venue. We invited 3 other folks to come join us, because we felt that strongly about Gungor as musicians.
Music is an awesome and wonderful tool for worship.
I’ve felt the presence of God stirring within my heart through a powerful worship song more than through powerful sermons.
Music speaks to many, especially in young people, in more ways we can describe.
We have this powerful medium, this powerful ministry tool, and yet we tend to put it in the back burner because that is not how church is supposed to be; that the drums have no room in our sanctuary.
Mike Slaughter once tweeted:
2 many of R churches r full of grandparents who’re willing 2 die 4 their grandchildren but not give up a music style 4 them.
— Mike Slaughter (@RevMSlaughter) February 18, 2012
And if they do have an alternative worship from their “main” worship, it’s not given the room or attention (or respect) as the “main” worship. Some churches will have their contemporary worship as their first service in the morning simply because they don’t want any elements of drums and cables when their “real” worship starts at 10. Or, their alternative worship doesn’t happen in the main sanctuary, but somewhere else. Sometimes, the senior pastor doesn’t want anything to do with that worship. They have it because they feel they need to. But they don’t put time and effort into making that worship excellence. It’s there because someone said it should. It’s a half-hearted outreach at best. It’s often treated as the red-headed step child, if I may.
I know I’m a walking contradiction talking about not making worship a consuming/preference-driven experience and then in the next sentence talking about a style of worship. But there are many young people out there that like the robes, choirs and organ music.
But there are more who may refer to that as “funeral music” as my youth from a former church would call it. They absolutely hated being at worship on Sunday morning, and much preferred being outside and just loitering around the parking lot or Sunday school classrooms.
If some of us are driving away the young folks who are part of our church away from Sunday morning… how are we going to expect in bringing young people within the community?
I know you can find many holes in this post (I’ve found many already… like, we should go to the young people instead of just expecting them to come to our church, etc).. but I have to ask, for those of us who are complaining “Where are the young people?”, have we really made an effort to reach out to the young people? Even if it means that we actually have to (and willing to) change things instead of just talking about them?
9 thoughts on “Gungor Concert”
I’ve seen Gungor several times and will see them again on Thursday. Everytime I go, I think, this is what it’s all about. I wonder, what if our young people could walk out of our ministries feeling as called and energized as they do when walking out of a Gungor concert, then we
You’re right when you said there are holes, but you got your message across. Anyone can have holes in a talk, blog, preaching, or speech. The important thing is to get the message across, and that you did.
One hole to me is that I don’t think you’re talking about worship in this post. You’re talking about music, and evangelizing. Once you place a certain style of music during Praise time in a service it’s to minister. What Gungor did in that “concert” was minister.
Worship is a 24/7 action that acknowledges God’s sovereignty, and Praise lifts up the fact that He is sovereign. Even if we were to show up to a church that doesn’t have instruments, but they have their hands lifted up singing God’s praises…that’s great.
I’m all for drums and stuff in church, but a certain “style of worship” as you said isn’t needed to bring the youth to church. That has never been needed. God doesn’t need that in order to bring someone down on their knees before Him. How the heck did David Wilkerson bring a gangster like Nicky Cruz to Christ if they were the complete opposite? It was Christ’s love.
But I see what you mean. Some youth do find the time of Praise during a service pretty boring, because of the style. A certain style really won’t bore you if you’re really grateful with God. I understand if a person is not allowed the freedom to Praise how they want during a service though, because that would be a bummer.
point taken. 🙂
I’m glad, but feel free to correct me if I’m also wrong. I don’t want to seem like a critic of yours. I enjoy your posts.
Didn’t take it as a critique at all. Worship is worship. Music is secondary when it comes to worship. Besides, in Hosea God says away with your noisy music…
It’s more evangelical and outreaching…
I bet it was an enjoyable event though. “Beautiful Things” is a unique album. Haven’t had the chance to give their most recent album a listen for some strange reason.
My wife didn’t like it until the concert. But she still thinks Beautiful Things is the better album.
It’s one of my favorite albums of all time… both secular and christian.
I usually have the album running when I do devos or sermon prep…
I would have to give the new one a chance to see if I agree with your wife. My wife has only been in this country forabout close to 5 years now, and she only listens to spanish worship music or hillsong in spanish. Sometimes I wish I could get her to listen to others.