Every now and then a young person calls me aside and says something like this: “Thank you for being patient with me when I was a young preacher/ a student/ a teenager in your congregation. You inspired me to ministry.”
When they do this, I think of the elderly apostle’s declaration: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4).
It seems I am now the older preacher in the transaction, more Paul than Timothy. Continue reading “What’s next”
Sometimes it seems the church is being sliced and diced up by age. The “youth group” activities, the “Young Adults” Class (a very loosely defined group, I have noticed), the “Baby Boomers,” and so on. There is nothing wrong with arranging an activity specifically for young people, or women, or those of us who are more “mature.” Yet I have noticed that some try to exploit these differences in age by seeking to form a “church within a church,” or worse, by culling young people out of the church and forming their own group. We need each other!
Remember John addressing “children,” “fathers” and “young men” (1 John 2:12-14)? Remember Paul telling Titus to teach “older men,” “older women,” “younger women” and so on (Titus 2:1-6)? The church is a family, and we are not a family unless we work together and associate with each other. The church needs the idealism and energy of the young; it also needs the wisdom and reflection of the mature. Continue reading “I was young and now I am, well, not”