Hunter Hayes at the Opry – Understanding Old People in Church

When I was at the Grand Ole Opry last week, 21 year old country singer Hunter Hayes was the headliner.  He was full of energy and hopped around as he sang while the young girls screamed, filled the aisles, and broke the rules by recording the performance with their iPhones.  In case you didn’t know, the Opry is a radio show.  People stand at the sides of the stage unconcerned there is an audience.

As old timers Jimmy C. Newman, the Del McCoury Band, Jesse McReynolds, Mike Snider, and Riders in the Sky stood stage side and watched, I couldn’t help but think of church.  I wondered what the old Opry stars were thinking.  I wondered if they were standing there thinking, “This isn’t country music.  This isn’t what the Opry is supposed to be.  I just don’t get it.”  I don’t know this.  I’m just imagining.

However, I do know that some faithful saints in the church feel that way about church.  They want to hear Amazing Grace as they always knew it.  They’d rather not hear Chris Tomlin sing his version – Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone).  I’ve blogged before how we need to be careful not to try and change the Gospel.  Yet I believe we MUST change how we present it and how we do church.  Is that going to create conflict in the church?  It probably is.  Everyone isn’t going to be happy.  I can’t imagine everyone at the Opry is happy having a 21 year old rocking and rolling the Opry.  But it was sold out.  Without a willingness to do the Opry in a way that relates to young people, it will die.  Without a willingness to do church in a way that can connect to young people, individual churches will die.  Individual churches are dying.  We don’t compromise the Gospel, only how we present it.

 

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