For some people, the idea of needing older people in churches may seem silly. This is because a lot of people are in churches that lack younger people, not older. The reality is, there are many multi-generational churches, and one issue in them is the generations interacting together for the cause of Christ.
I think the reason is twofold. First, some young people really struggle to value, make time for, or listen to the older generation of believers. Young adults and young people are busy. They may either feel that it is not worth their time, or have time to spend with older believers in the church. In some aspects, this is a respect issue. Young people need to take time to listen to older believers.
The second reason for this issue is that older believers are responsible for this disconnect. This can often spring from two thoughts. First, older believers may have bought into the American Dream and checked out of life. They have worked, served, invested…and now it’s their time to focus on themselves again. This is a selfish attitude that needs to be adjusted. There is nothing wrong with relaxing, recreation, and doing some things for yourself. But if it comes at the cost of neglecting the next generation, there is a problem.
The other reason that older saints may not interact with the younger ones is that they may feel they have nothing to offer. They don’t understand today’s struggles or society. But what does Scripture say?
The apostle Paul calls older believers to disciple younger believers in Titus 2:1-6. He says, “older women train younger women (2:3-4),” and “older men, urge the younger men (2:2, 6).” This is a call for generational discipleship. It’s a command for older people to disciple younger believers in the church, and younger people to listen and follow.
Think About It
If you are a younger person or younger believer, are you taking time to listen and learn from older believers?
If you are an older believer, do you see yourself as irrelevant or that now is your time to spend on you?
Or do you see this as a season of opportunity to invest in helping the next generation follow God?