McDonalds and Opera Music

Kara Powell | Dec 4, 2013

“If we’re going to move toward intergenerational worship, what we do about different music preferences?”

That’s a common question we are asked in our Sticky Faith seminars. Given that our research champions the power of the generations worshipping together, leaders who want to move that direction quickly run into the very real—and often very large—obstacle of contrasting music preferences.

Last week, a McDonalds in Australia started to play opera and classical music in order to prevent teenage loitering. Apparently too many young people were spending too much time at the fast food restaurant so its management decided to use Mozart and Bach to get rid of the teens.

Many of our churches use music that sounds a lot like Mozart and Bach.

The very same music some of our churches use in worship is now being used to repel teenagers.

I like Mozart and Bach. I know some teenagers who do also. My point in telling this story isn’t to condemn any particular worship style but to get us to think about the elements of our worship and church life that might be hindering our ministry with young people.

Kara Powell

Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Fuller's Chief of Leadership Formation. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, Growing With, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. Kara lives with her husband Dave and their three children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica, in Southern California.


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