It Not Retirement it is Repositioning

lightstock_29719_small_byrene_haney

Stop me if you have heard this: “We are a dying church.  The average age of our congregation is in the sixty plus range. We need young families.  We have put in our time; it is time for us to pass the baton to younger folks.”

There are two ways to view this.  The glass half empty view is: we are a dying church.  Our members are old and tired, and the end is near for them and us.

The glass half full view is: “Yes we have older saints in our congregation and boy are we blessed.  These seasoned saints have time and knowledge that the church can enjoy.  And what Millennials are seeking most in the church is relationship and someone to act as a spiritual guide through the dark maze of this amoral society.”

An Attitude Shift is Required

In order for the church to make use of the gifts of God sitting in the pews, we need to rethink our view of older adults.  Maybe this illustration will help.

Old age is dreaded by almost everyone because it usually means loneliness, physical decline, and a retreat to inactivity. Some people tend to lose their enthusiasm for life and spend too much time in fruitless reminiscing and self-pity. They feel like “Old Jimmy”, an elderly gentleman George Mueller often told about. When this man was asked what he did all day since he had retired, he replied, “I just sit and think, and sit and think, and sometimes I just sit!” That’s getting old in the worst way — ceasing to live before we die.

History records that many people made some of their greatest contributions to society after the age of 65. The Earl of Halsburg, for example, was 90 when he began preparing a 20- volume revision of English law. Goethe wrote Faust at 82. Galileo made his greatest discovery when he was 73. At 69, Hudson Taylor was still vigorously working on the mission field, opening up new territories in Indochina. And when Caleb was 85, he took the stronghold of the giants (Josh. 14:10-15).

God never intends for us to retire from spiritual activity. The Bible says we can “still bring forth fruit in old age.” Even as Jesus kept the “best wine” for the last at the wedding in Cana (John 2:10), so He seeks to gather the most luscious clusters of the fruit of the Spirit from the fully ripened harvest of our lives. You may be sure God wouldn’t keep you on this earth if He didn’t have a worthwhile ministry for you to accomplish. So, keep on serving the Lord!  Our Daily Bread.

Older, wiser saints; the Lord and the Church still has a need for the gifts you bring.  Don’t check out on ministry when you have so much to offer, so deep an impact to make.  Next week I will explore ways for the church to unleash the wealth of talents sitting idle in our pews.

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17 thoughts on “It Not Retirement it is Repositioning

  1. I see we once again have given you material for your blog……..

    On a serious note, can we republish this? It fits perfectly with what Pastor Gary has been preaching on!

    Holly

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Half empty but it is true that w/o younger members joining the church is domed down the road. $ will not be available after the senior members dies off?? We need to focus on the younger people to get them in the doors and members..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree. I’ve witnessed too many older folks “retire” from Christian service to focus on their own desires. Granted, what form our service takes may change throughout our lives; an older person may not be able to do arduous physical tasks. (Then again, my husband has an older friend–in his late 70s, I believe–who often mows lawns and does repair work for his church and other people in need.) But those of us who are younger would love to have mentors, teachers, and others to pass on their wisdom. As a young wife, I was personally encouraged to hear stories from Godly, long-married woman about how difficult the first few years of marriage can be and how they and their husbands learned how to navigate difficult times. Others prayed for me while I was a college student dealing with a mental and physical breakdown. So, as a plea to all older Christians, please share your knowledge and love. We need it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. G’day, Just came across your blog. Great post, there certainly needs to be an attitude shift, lots of renewed minds when it comes to this stuff. Good stuff to be thinking about and I look forward to reading more of your thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Now to get the older saints to listen to what you wrote and be obedient to Gods call. It is disheartening to hear when someone has given up. But I remember one lady in my bible class when we were studying Moses. After one lesson when Moses was called by God at 85. She joyously stated. “Guess I can’t retire if God used Moses at 85. I just turned 85 and thought to step down from ministry think God is telling me something.” She worked for another two years with the food bank and with young teens before her health gave out but I can guarantee she is still working where God planted her. She is an inspiration on what God can do. With her love of God, sound mind and weak body she is still serving our Lord.

    Liked by 1 person

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