Why can’t grandchildren and grandparents worship together anymore? It seems churches divide families too much. I’m not against having separate ministries to help people at various stages of life. But I just am not a big fan of appealing to one age and abandoning the others. I love inter-generational worship – all ages together.
Many churches cater to the young. Our society promotes youthfulness and tends to deny the importance of the elderly. This is actually opposite of God’s wisdom. The Bible calls us to honor the aged. Leviticus 19:32 – “You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I am the Lord.”
Many senior citizens feel like the church has abandoned them.
Church as they knew it is pretty much dissolved. Contemporary and casual are the norm to reach the younger generation. Some suggest that the older generation should just ‘go with the flow.’ It’s a new world and it’s time they step into the 21st century. Let the younger generation take over.
It’s like a relay race. Just as a member of a relay race receives a baton from one member and passes it to the next member, one generation must give to the next generation. It’s time for seniors to pass the baton. Really?
While I understand the concept, it’s not Biblical. In a relay race, when you pass your baton, you must do 3 things: (1) Get off the track, (2) Stop running, and (3) Get out of the race. Our seniors should never quit serving. I don’t want them to.
Never have we needed grandparents and seniors more than we need them today. I believe we lose by telling them it’s time to pass the baton and get out of the race. In so doing, we lose the greatest wealth of wisdom in our nation, our society and our churches.
The ‘senior’ generation has been there, done that, and wants to invest into the next generation.
The older generation needs to trust the younger generation with leadership. They may sing different, dress different, and talk different, but they love Jesus with a passion that is undeniable. Allow them to be creative and engaging to reach the culture.
But seniors still need to be engaged. There is no retirement in the Bible. We need to stop thinking that when we pass the baton we must get out of the race. The church needs everyone!
Our seniors are the ones who can touch and understand all generations. Who can counsel a young man entering military service better than a senior veteran? Who can help a young mother with her first baby better than a grandmother who has held many? Who can stand with a man who has lost the only woman he’s ever loved as much as a widower of many years? Who can help a young couple starting a business like an older couple who has led a company for many years? Seniors have wisdom, understanding, and time. They are durable, knowledgable, and available.
If we waste our seniors, we are wasting one of God’s greatest gifts to the church.
Sometimes we don’t get out of church what we want or expect. Many church-hop to find a church that meets all their criteria. That’s not how you treat a family. You don’t just visit various families to see which ones meet your needs. You love the family you have and try to make it work. It’s part of the beauty of family.
In my family we try to accept one another. We don’t always agree, but we want to get along. Our love for each other is bigger than our differences. Church should be like that. Though we may not always love the music of another generation, we are willing to sacrifice because we love them. We set aside our preferences for the good of and future of those our family.
It’s been said, “If you want to go fast, you go alone. But if you want to go far, you go together.” It’s not about the older or younger generation. It’s about working together. Rather than either/or I suggest both/and.
I love my church. We have suits and ties sitting next to t-shirts and jeans (and sometimes shorts). We sing hymns and we sing contemporary. We have piano and organ and we have drums and guitars. We’re a family.
I love my family!