We love our young people, and say it often. When we count up the 22-year-old and younger group, it comprises about 52% of our congregation. We are glad for each one of them and pray for them daily.
However, this past week, I have been working on a paper for my college courses that has dealt a little with the senior citizens and it reminded me once again. I want there to be no mistake, we love our seniors too!
Hope you enjoy the following article which was sent to me by my instructor!
This was taken from a recent Pew Forum article titled, “Are churches taking the elderly for granted?”
. . . surveys show that church-affiliated populations are older than the national population as a whole — and in many congregations, overwhelmingly so. Many churches do have plenty of classes and groups for older members. Yet many churches have paid so much attention to attracting the young that they may be overlooking the needs of those in their midst . . .“
John Calahan writes, “several years ago I was driving down a major street of our city and saw a sign about a new church. I looked at the phone number and memorized it. A few days later I called the number and spoke with the pastor about the church. I did not tell him anything about myself other than my first and last name. The pastor explained several things about the ministry and then stated that if I was an older person I was welcome to attend but the focus of the ministry was for those in their twenties to forties. I was stunned. I thought about the admonition in Titus 2:3-4 of older women teaching the younger women. Where does such a church get the counsel of older men? This young pastor did not understand or value the biblical concept of older Christians discipling and counseling younger believers. His attitude may be extreme, but the disrespect for seniors is more common than we may want to admit.”
“Our elderly saints who were once the pastors, music leaders, Sunday School teachers, youth leaders, camp organizers, missionaries, and church volunteers, now have wonderful memories of how God used them. Now they focus on new ministries that do not require young, agile bodies. These are the ministries of cheerful giving, prayer warriors, godly counsel and wisdom.
Our seniors are those who helped us grow in Christ and God used them just as He has used so many who have gone before them. All of the saints of past ages eventually became seniors, unless God took them home unexpectedly. Time has a way of humbling even the greatest of leaders.”
“If Jesus delays His coming long enough, you and I will someday be reflecting on the memories of how God once used us. No matter how much God will use us, eventually we will become old and our bodies will wrinkle. Our legs will not be what they once were. Our eyes will not see as well to read those familiar pages of scripture. Our voices will no longer be able to sing solos as beautifully. We will eventually have trouble teaching Bible lessons and walking the streets to present the gospel. Some day we will not have the energy for certain ministries. Some day you and I will be seniors too!”