Let the Older Teach the Younger
We often speak in churches about ministry of the older to the younger in the midst. But to even say these words seems trite, considering their importance. What do we really charge Believers with when we say the words? We mean these Paul-and-Timothy relationships; and not just between the men in the congregations. The Bible gets even more specific with instructions that the older women should teach the younger.
“I don’t know, Dr. Jackson – kids are so cocky these days. They probably think I have nothing to offer them.” That sounds like something “you know who” would say – doesn’t it? I once heard a pastor point out to the obvious that “non-Christians watch Christians.” Just look at all of the attention any errant Christian gets in the media, to the reproach of the Kingdom before the world. But our pastor also said “Christians watch Christians.” We do. You have no idea what young eyes and hearts are fixed upon you at any moment. You can lead by example. You don’t have to say a word. But there is also another way. You could talk to them.
At one church I got to talking with a few of the teenage boys at the pot luck. They pointed over to an older man in the congregation saying, “Yeah Mr. ___ is so cool. He’s the man!” When I later told the elder what they said, he was surprised. “Well, I didn’t know they felt that way about me.” Think of the old country song, “She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful.” And –you– don’t know what young eyes, elder saint, are looking on you with a great longing; wishing you would tell them the truths that you know; truths that can only be learnt by a walking and an abiding in Him over the decades of experience in service that you have – which they don’t.
It’s true, not all of the young are so teachable. But many are! Today I’m meeting for coffee with a shining young man of God. His gifts and calling are given in a tribute of sacrifice to the Lord God and to His Kingdom. I love this young fella. He’s so my brother. I see my Jesus in him – so strongly! He asked – me. Why. Because he knows I wouldn’t say no to him. Many of our wonderful young saints – both guys and girls – are just watching and waiting for the elder saint of the same gender who knows the way ahead for them, whom they can count on to at least “give’em the time of day.” Will you? Will I? Pray to the Lord of the Harvest for this next generation of the Church. Have the courage to step out when He points you in the direction of a young person He knows will be open to your mentorship. And be the leaders to the children of the millennium in the Church. You won’t be sorry that you did.
Keep praying. Keep thinking,