When worship is physically painful

This tweet recently showed up in my feed:

Old lady at church: “It’s too loud.” Me: “Try moving to a seat that’s farther from the speakers. In another church, perhaps.” #InMyMind

I realize this is supposed to be tongue in cheek, and I’ll admit, I chuckled. But it still makes me sad.

When complaints are made about the noise level of worship, it’s laughed about behind the complainers back (usually an “old” person) and then filed in the circular file. And we move on, doing absolutely nothing.

I work with the elderly. I get it. Some will find anything to complain about. Others are impossible to keep happy. (Although I’m convinced that in any group of people, you will find complainers.) I also know that not all old people hate loud music. Have you heard live big band music from the 40s?

I’m beginning to relate to the noise level complaints, especially after I had minor surgery last year. In an attempt to ease the constant feeling of pressure in my ear, I had a tube put in. It didn’t help and now I’m just waiting for it to fall out.

In the meantime, I have bionic hearing. It’s like there’s a megaphone in my left ear. This dumb tube has left me super sensitive to noise. The volume at most worship services has become unbearable. Contemporary worship is physically painful for me.

I feel for the poor old lady that speaks up about the volume. She may have a very valid complaint, but it’s simply dismissed.

If there is an old lady in your contemporary service, that’s quite impressive. The sheer fact that she’s not swearing the music off as “devil music” is quite a feat! Can we work to make the situation a little more enjoyable for her?

Just a thought.

Question: What are your thoughts on the noise level in worship?

6 Replies to “When worship is physically painful”

  1. “Louder is better”……..and we are raising a generation of hearing impaired young adults 🙁 I have “bionic ears” too & not because of surgery…….and I DEFINITELY do not consider myself “old”!

  2. Been there, done that! Sometimes, I have migraines without pain, and
    my ears become super sensitive. During these times, I wear earplugs, but the worship music, while awesome, is borderline unbearable.

  3. The problem is that often the best and most passionate drummers are quite loud even with a cage. We have two like that and they can get away it, because they’re really good. I’ve brought earplugs before, but the muffled sound is weird when trying to play.

    Also I’ve noticed older people like it loud when it’s their style of music. Certain frequencies seem to bother them more, but other one they want louder so they can hear better.

    1. I agree about the drummers. But in the service I attend it’s electric drums, so the volume is a bit more “adjustable.”

      And you’re right about old people… If it’s music they like, they like it loud. 🙂

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