Monday, December 04, 2006

Old people in chapel

Today in chapel a funny thing happened. We had African-American choral music leading the first part of worship. They led with a classic hard-driving AA style that made normal chapel music look like old fashioned hymns.

Guess what happened. The audience stiffed them. Really! The students at IWU simply stood (or sat down, like nine students near me did) and watched the leaders try to get them involved. At one point the AA leader with one of the microphones called, "Hello--are you out there" but to no avail. 90% of these broad-minded students who criticize old people for being narrow-minded about worship just wouldn't play along when it was't their worship music--they acted exactly like old people do when urged to "get into it" and sing the newer songs. I counted a whole section--not more then one out of ten students "got into it." that's it.

Then everything changed. After 25 minutes of AA music the group sang one of the songs on the "student approved list" --you know tone of the 25 songs we do over and over in chapel. --It is almost like the students have a list of approved songs like the school has a (short) list of approved "R" movies students can watch. If the song is not on the list they all somehow know they should stiff the leaders.

Are these are the same students who complain when THEY lead worship that the old people "don't get into it." Are they any different than a bunch of old people in the first service who stand non-committal when the young worship leader is urging them to join him in his favorite worship songs???

How can this be?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh, I love it! I would have loved to be there to witness that. We always hear, "I'll never be like that when I'm old and my kids have a different worship style..."

Well, who's calling the kettle black now??

Good reminder for us all! Love it!

Anonymous said...

Oh, dear, you've done it now...

I guess "herd mentality" also plays a role too...

Amanda said...

When did the students sit down? Was it when the "old people's music" started playing, or when the music leader tried to tell the students to "get into it"?

coach d said...

Amanda, it was NEVER Old people's music... it was standard African-American choral music song leading... hard driving, swaying, urging-you-to-join music. (It is a new choir at IWU and has many actual real African-Americans leading it with the rest being white folk learning a new style of worship expression).

As for sitting down... they were all guys I saw...and they never stood at all--just sat, one was actually sleeping. But these we always have with us--the striking thing to me was the rest of the audience was standing but passive, barely singing along or not singing at all. They just stood with slumped shoulders and put up with it--exactly what old folk do to "contemporary worship songs."

Maybe the other chapel was better--but mine was striking!

Anonymous said...

We will always have the fogies with us. Whether they be old fogies or young ones.

-David

The Legend said...

i thinkk i know what you're talking about with the approved chapel music bit. It was a fitting way of describing IWU chapel when I was there...

Kevin K. Wright said...

Maybe we can get students to sing by playing an audio file before each chapel that says, "I'm Chris Tomlin, and I approved these worship songs." It seems to work for the politicians :)

Cory Washington said...

Hey coach D, I'm a random IWU student who was at the herein referenced chapel service (the 10 am one), and I have my own opinion of events; take it for what it's worth. First, I arrived after music had already started, so I had no idea what was going on--if we were having on of the services where we are just expected to listen along, or if this was actually supposed to be an interactive time. Second, could anyone understand what the black lady's were saying who led much of the service? I made out about one of every ten words they said, with their accents and all, so I further had no idea what was going on. Further, this was the first time I have ever been in a chapel or service quite like that one, and the songs were not only foreign to me, but the style was foreign. So when we finally had a song I recognized, I find it only natural that people would start following along a little bit more then. Further, since I didn't know what was going on, it seemed like a "Black Heritage" celebration in worship songs to me. I don't doubt that others had different reasons for their reactions, and it may very well have been as hypocritical as it seems to you, but I must say that being the first time this has been tried in chapel, it may be necessary to try this again, if the new worship group is willing to risk being shunned again. That's all.