I just finished writing an article on worship for a newsletter that will be included in a choral music mailing that I am told will go out to some 7,000 churches sometime in January. I am humbled and honored to have had that privilege.
One of the things I wrote about is the importance of investing in next generation worship leaders.
I have begun a weekly lunch meeting with a 20-something guy who is gifted and called to lead people in worship. The more time I spend with him, the more I learn. I have no idea if I am helping him, but I know he is helping me. One of the things we always talk about is being authentic. The age group of people he leads in worship each week can see through a person immediately. They want real. My friend tells me that he and his team always want to be careful not to "chase cool". In other words, it's really not about being cool - it's about being honest, getting to the heart of the matter. The answers we need don't come from being cool - they come from being broken.
My week would have been complete just to have my regular lunch with my 20-something friend, but I got a bonus this week. I got to also have lunch with a good friend who is older than I am - someone who invests in my life as a person who has walked before me.
He is smart, funny, articulate, and passionate for God's church to make a difference in the Kingdom. He is always such an encouragement to me. He loves to tell me stories of the past, but is just as excited about today and the future. After our lunch, he was headed to a local hospital where he volunteers on a weekly basis to simply sit in the waiting room and minister to families who don't have anyone there to sit with them, talk with them, pray with them. One can only imagine the stories he has to tell from those experiences.
I look back on my two lunches this week with these two men - the huge age/generation gap between them - and I ponder the difference they make in my life.
I thank God for relationships that enrich, that challenge, that encourage, that bring fulfillment to our stress-filled lives.
I pray, too that I would always resist the urge to "chase cool"....