The Church, a Generational Tapestry, A Biblical Call to Multi-generational Church Ministry
The Church, a Generational Tapestry
A Biblical Call to Multi-generational Church Ministry
R. Kent Hughes, Bible teacher and former Senior Pastor of the congregation of College Church, Wheaton, Illinois, observes that, “Common sense, as well as research, tells us that a vital element for building a family is instilling a healthy sense of heritage, an appreciation of one’s roots, both earthly and spiritual.” A legacy is not something that can be calculated in material terms. It is important, Proverbs says, for fathers to lay up (an inheritance) for their children. A good start is a tremendous advantage that parents and grandparents may give their progeny. But the greatest gift that can be passed down from one generation to the next is the gift of the knowledge of God. Understanding that as they believe in Christ they are standing on the shoulders of their grandparents has a powerful effect upon our children’s future decisions. Christianity is not just a religion of the new. Our faith crosses the generations. It spans thousands of years. We sing it well in the hymn, “faith of our fathers, holy faith…we will be true to thee till death.”
The local church is called to be a community, a family. Families usually have several generations living out life together with the common bond of love. Each generation, when fulfilling its purpose, supports and depends upon the others. So goes Christ’s local church. We are a multigenerational community, a family of faith, bound together by our common faith in Jesus Christ and, growing out of that faith, a love for each other regardless of age.
Deuteronomy chapter 6 calls on fathers to teach God’s truth to their children and grandchildren. Paul encourages the older women to teach the younger in Titus 2:3, 4. Sometimes senior believers are tempted to think their serving years are behind them – not true. God has designed us so that each generation needs something from the other. Each generation has something to invest into the lives of the others. The Bible teaches that each group helps to buttress the other for the fight of faith.
All of us have heard about or experienced the sad and unbiblical struggles that some churches have between the “younger and the older generations.” The Scriptures present the church as a multigenerational community. A healthy church has boys and girls, dads and moms, grandmas and grandpas, as well as singles, and so on. The church is for those who have believed the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is not for just one group. This is a profound impact the gospel has. It is able to reach and guide every generation. The culture talks much about a “generation gap” but the gospel calls us together for the glory of Christ and His coming kingdom. So, let’s celebrate each generation seeking faithful and loving ways to build each other up in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s make sure that our worship and ministry is for God’s glory, the furtherance of the gospel, and the edification of ALL of the saints. Let’s celebrate being a multigenerational community of faith in Jesus.
In Christ’s Love,
Coggins Courier | Coggins MBC | vol. 44, October 10, 2017, #21