Weaving Generations Together
While my husband and I are on the younger side of our middle years, we serve a church made up primarily of young or approaching seniors. When you’re in seminary, you’re taught to make every effort to create a church that is appealing to young families. In truth, for some time we wrestled with this other calling the Lord had entrusted to us. We cringed when generationally off-putting things happened in the service or testimony times. We were concerned when the young families felt overshadowed by the Baby Boomers in our church.
Eventually though, we realized this was our sacred calling: to serve this generation and their needs.The young families that the Lord was calling to our church family would be ones that needed a strong tie to older family in Christ.
We saw how God’s purpose was weaving generations together in this congregation.
My grandmother, who has gone on to glory now, was an old school church gal. She could barely wrap her heart around worship without a hymnal in her hands. A guitar leading the music would always feel just a little bit wrong to her. Drums? She had no idea what they were doing in the sanctuary. In her widowed years we would pick her up and bring her home with us for a few days at a time. She came on all sorts of youth events and eventually, despite being unused to the contemporary worship styles of the churches we served, she loved, prayed for, and encouraged the ministry that she was, at first, getting hauled around to.
She joyfully admitted that while it wasn’t her first choice for her personal church experience, she could see the Lord’s hand working and moving in things that weren’t culturally her cup of church tea. Church wasn't meant to be a place of personal comfort or expression of one person over another. It's a gathering of souls coming together to worship, serve, and grow in Christ. It's about glorifying God, not our preferences.
When it comes to the church’s cultural needs of one generation or another, we’ve realized the people the Lord calls into our congregation are the ones who prioritize the blessings that come with a multigenerational service more than the ones who want a service full of people who are just like them and who enjoy things just like them.
The blessings of having extra big brothers, sisters, parents, and grandparents are many! And as our hearts opened to this, I began to pray differently over our church family. As I prayed differently, my eyes were opened to some pretty amazing things about having seniors in our church family.
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