Last week I found out that being the speaker at a middle school/high school retreat is an interesting experience when you’re 39. It starts with the realization that these kids were born after you graduated from college. From there you discover that a lot of them have parents your age; which is particularly encouraging when you have 3 kids but your oldest won’t start kindergarten for another year! And it reaches a climax with the music. I’ll be forever grateful for those two David Crowder songs the band played but, other than that, I hadn’t heard any of them before. And, maybe for the first time in my life, I found myself wondering why everything was so loud!
What’s happened to me?!?
I was a college pastor for 7 years and led a young adult ministry for another 3. So much of my Christian life has been shaped by Passion’s music, messages and conferences. I love Hillsong. Part of me is still clinging to the vain thought that at least I’m still young enough to get invited to a student camp at 39. But, trust me, those kids didn’t think I was there because I was cool. At best, they were grateful that an old guy would come speak into their lives.
But there I was. Surrounded by people who could be my children. Totally happy and thrilled to be there. Why? Because I was there for the sake of the gospel. I wasn’t there for the music. I was there to serve. I was there to fight for the next generation of the people of God.
And I started to think about Restoration City Church. I started to think about the college students, 20 somethings, and 30 somethings who call our church home. And I started thanking God for sacrificial 40 somethings, 50 somethings and 60 somethings who are part of our church even though they may not love the music, aren’t surrounded by a lot of their peers and sometimes feel like the chaperones at a high school dance. I love these older saints who are willing to define their church experience through the lens of serving the next generation. They’re some of my heroes!
And we need more of them. Restoration City needs more gray hair. Not because we’re trying to Make Choirs Great Again and not because we’re going to be planning senior adult weekends in the Poconos. We need mature believers to make disciples, to do pre-marital counseling, to mentor young parents, to teach a generation how to live for Jesus in the work place. We need older saints who will sacrifice their comfort for the advance of the gospel.
If you agree, let me ask you to do three things:
- Pray. Join me in asking God to bring some winsome, sacrificial, godly older believers to our church.
- Recruit. If you know some older (40+ and that’s negotiable!) believers, forward them this blog and ask them to pray about joining our church. If they don’t do blogs, call them on their landline and ask them to come to church with you on Sunday!
- Bless. If you have an older believer who is willing to disciple you, look for ways to bless them. Babysit their kids. House sit when they’re out of town (ok, that blesses you too). Help with yard work. Whatever you can think of!
I believe the vision of an intergenerational church is worth fighting for, sacrificing for and striving for. The local church is at her best when all of the generations come together under the banner of changing lives and transforming communities.