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Vantage point


Respecting age

OK, I realize older people can get cranky and defensive about “the way things used to be.” The older we get, the more “the good old days” dominate our thoughts. And often, the older we get, the better they seem — though in reality those days of fond memory were seldom as good as we remember them.

But the church is changing by leaps and bounds, and on many fronts the group of believers that is increasingly left out in the cold is older Christians. And, church, we need them.

Society as a whole has changed dramatically. Courtesy is no longer a de facto part of the upbringing of children. Expressions of appreciation are increasingly rare, and the valuing of the aged among us is nearing extinction.

Unfortunately, some of this has even crept into the church.

Churches today are overwhelmingly crafted to appeal to younger congregations. I have been told, on more than one occasion, “They have had their day. If anyone needs to sacrifice, it should be them.” Many older saints are willing to do that. Some have told me, “I don’t enjoy the music, and I can’t relate to a lot of the things we do, but when I see young people excited about serving Jesus, I know it is worth it.”

Most older saints are willing to take this view if God is honoring the changes. But it is hard on most of them. They are experiencing culture shock.

And they deserve consideration.

More than consideration, they deserve notice. Our older saints have something to give. Contrary to the trend in our society, the church should honor and respect them.

Young Christians need to become their friends and absorb the heritage of the godly aged among us.

I call upon younger believers and pastors to consider the needs of older Christians, become involved in their lives, and receive the wisdom they have to give … before it’s too late.

Ken Horn

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