Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Who wants Old People in the Church?

This week I have another post up over at Christians in Context entitled "Who Wants Old People in the Church?"

In our age, it is quite common to view the elderly as passé and unequipped to respond to new trends like development in technology, emerging ideas and shifting values. Youth and vitality are prized against the wisdom that can come with age. It is the cult of youth, and you can find it in the church. The push today is for young pastors to revel in being unbalanced towards Generation X or younger. It is sad when church leaders then set no goals in correcting the imbalances as if older people are poison to the church.

All things being equal in the Biblical mandates for a church, young people typically choose young people to be around. Even a church meeting the Biblical marks can turn younger people away if too much gray hair is present. But can we be more balanced and see value of every generation? In this post, what I would like to do for the reader is commend to them why elderly are vital in the life of the church today... 
Far too many blog posts have been written on the value of church planting and starting afresh with the new, hip and young than have been written about ministering to those closer to the end of life. Older generations are often rightly challenged to accept the younger in church life while few, if any, issue challenges in the reverse. I hope this post offers a small correction to that imbalance... 
Young people can benefit from the wisdom age brings. Older individuals can benefit from youthful exuberance and energy. Old generations, just as much as the young, can be powerfully reshaped by God’s Word if the Spirit is at work. 

Here are the seven reasons I think a church can benefit from the elderly in its midst:
(1) Opportunities for mentorship.
(2) Mutual care for one another in the body.
(3) Opportunities for younger generations to use their gifts.
(4) Children treasured as a gift. 
(5) Prayer warriors and encouragers. 
(6) A Bible that is alive.
(7) Honesty and familiarity with the realities of the end of life. 

Read the rest here as I unpack them.

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