Culture does divide. TV commercials seem to point one of two ways--to the young, hip and fresh faces, or to the older people trying to have a good retirement. If we relegate our Sundays to two services, one for the young and one for older folks, where is the unity? You end up with two separate church families using the same building at different times!


Giving proper place to our worship heritage

Bob: Worship heritage means a great deal to me! I grew up with the hymnal, helped edit a new hymnal, and made my decision for full-time Christian service based on the hymn "Wherever He Leads, I'll Go." I am very comfortable with hymns.

I also love some of the contemporary choruses and other music being sung in worship today. But to be perfectly honest, I'm still uncomfortable with much of it because I haven't grown up with this as a vital part of my life like younger people have. This type of worship will probably never be my cup of tea. But I can still have a great appreciation for the "worship heritage" that is being developed in the life of my children and grandchildren.

David: I learned my theology from the hymnal. Long before I was in seminary with Frank Tupper, Molly Marshall, Glenn Hinson, and Bill Leonard, I was taking theology from B.B. McKinney, Fanny Crosby, Martin Luther and Walker's “Southern Harmony.”

What has caused me, a contemporary worship leader, to head back into the waters of tradition and heritage? The shallowness of the vast majority of praise choruses currently available. My twins will soon start coming to “big church,” and I want to make sure they are nurtured in their faith development and not just made to feel good and happy.

I think that is the secret success of the blended style. There will be music that sounds familiar and upbeat and hip to them, but there will also be the great teaching hymns of faith for them to chew on as they grow.

Bob Burroughs, 63, is a nationally known composer, arranger, and conference leader and director of the church music department of the Florida Baptist Convention in Jacksonville.

David Burroughs, 35, of Louisville, Ky., is president of Passport, a Christian summer camping program for teenagers. He is a worship leader and composer with degrees in music composition and theology.