“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21
I do young adult ministry. I focus on 18 to 35-year-olds and happen to think this age range (which is huge in diversity and stage of life) is vitally important to the success of the church. But I also think we must position ourselves to be a vibrant multigenerational church. We must have love for all generations in the church.
This is not a call for more argument about how loud the music should be but is a call for young and old, and even younger and older to realize the importance of love for each other and unity within the church for Christ’s glory.
Young adults need the experience and wisdom of those that have come before. We need to hear your stories and ask you hard questions. You might think that these youngsters don’t want anything to do with you but you are wrong, they want and need to have you in their life – especially in the church.
Young woman need more experientially and spiritually mature women to talk with about life and the gospel. Young men need to be graciously tempered and challenged to be bold for Christ by men who have done the same. In the absence of these things we continue to write new chapters of Judges where generational voids left God’s people without a spiritual rudder and passion for God.
Mature people (I hear saying old is insensitive!) need the wisdom of young people in the church. The generation now outnumbering all others is the most educated in history. They have the access to information and can use it with speed that is awe-inspiring. Mature believers need to be challenged by new ways of thinking and be reminded of how they once thought. They need the passion and energy of those full of it. They need to have their assumptions challenged and passion for Christ stoked by the young believers in the church.
The older generation needs to mentor those in the prime of their lives. They need to be mentors so they can realize that they might not be as spiritually mature as they ought. They need to mentor because so often they benefit from a relationship with a younger person as much as the One from a younger generation.
The church, I believe, is supposed to be cross generational. We are to rally around our shared love for Christ; witness first hand how the gospel is lived out in all stages of life; and be on mission together. It is disciple making. It is Christ’s desire. And it is for his glory.
This Valentine’s Day, have love for all generations.