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Location: MInneapolis, Minnesota, United States

I am now a simple Grandpa who's life is made richer as each grandchild is born. My wife and I have raised five children and the 30 year love labor of raising them has begun to yield sweet fruit..... And then there are fruits of 30 years in ministry ... I am a satisfied old man full of the joy of the Lord.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Bible Honors Age, Not Youth

Joe Carter at Evangelical Outpost responds to David Wayne the Jolly Blogger about honor, age, and youth. Playing off of a quote from R.C. Sproul Jr. they make the point that the church seems to be too youth oriented. Jeff the Baptist makes the point that we should be all things to all people and Personal Trainer hyperlinks the Jolly Blogger. I would like to add a few insights also.

In my 27 years of youth ministry (building a church out of university students) I have not found the church giving much honor to the youth. They are instead given the staff member with the least salary and a meager budget to go along with the department. Then they are herded into a room painted black with a huge sound system and are subjected to young ego crazed leadership and music.

This is not honor. I know that David Wayne's point was that adults were being subjected to youth oriented ministry but really, most "adults" couldn't handle youth ministy or at least what passes for youth ministry all over this country. We feed our children the leftovers from the table. But I do agree with David Wayne's point. If Grandpa is wants hymns, give him hymns. But you see, that is just it, the church is going the way of the youth because that is where the life is. Yes, as people get older they get wiser and deserve more honor. No doubt !
But as people get older they also loose their zest for life. And nobody wants to join something that is half dead.

What the youth of this country are bringing to the banqueting table of the Lord is life, joy, enthusiasm about the day. There is a sense of adventure. A "risk-taking" type of faith. A careless disregard for self and a desire to be poured out like a drink offering. Very few old folks get this. The world needs God but they are not likely to go look for Him in the grey, safe, measured, world that much of the church has become.

The Kingdom of God is Righteousness, Peace, and Joy in the Holy Spirit. And true religion is ministering to the widows and orphans, not singing hymns in a church with 3 point sermons.

The youth of America are so hungry for Jesus that they are finding Him on their own and in their own way. This often erupts into a localized revival and results in a big church and then everybody stops by and wonders if what is going on here should be exported to their old church. Smart pastors pick up on this and try to guide the church to this heady, frothy, bubbling, new wine and it just doesn't seem to work. It is as if it has to be set in at the ground level. At the place of first revival and the seed of the new church. Then these church's grow and the cycle begins again.

America ! Give youth a chance. They are a lot of trouble. They make big messes. But where the stall is clean there are no oxen. Oxen make a mess. Give them your time, attention, your hopes, your dreams and love them and guide them. Show them how to get a job. Show them how to finish school. Help them to overcome the neglect of their upbringing. Teach them God's word as applied to every day life. Teach them (from God's word) how to handle relationships. Teach them (from God's word) how to marry. Teach them to get up when they fall down. They are not finished with their training when they graduate from high school, they are just starting it. And it is at this point that most families throw their kids out of the house and thrust them out on their own. Its a jungle out here. Every fifth kid has a disease by the time they get to college. (one out of three for the sexually active) One out of four are taking medication for psychological disorders. Their homes are broken and they are afraid it is going to happen to them. These kids need God ! Actually, I think Joe, David, Jeff, and Jon would agree.


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