YOU CAN'T "RETIRE" FROM CHURCH
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MINISTER THROUGH NOT JUST TO SENIOR ADULTS
A Future Together
Story about George He didnt believe that he ever retired from church ...
I respect Georges wisdom. There is no age that we retire from church. It isnt a job, it is who we are. Sometimes we may think that the older generation needs to give way to the younger generation. That terminology is flawed. The older and younger generations need to work together to continue to be church. That isnt just Georges wisdom. That is Gods wisdom.
Numbers 8:20-26 Moses, Aaron and the whole Israelite community did with the Levites just as the LORD commanded Moses. The Levites purified themselves and washed their clothes. Then Aaron presented them as a wave offering before the LORD and made atonement for them to purify them. After that, the Levites came to do their work at the Tent of Meeting under the supervision of Aaron and his sons. They did with the Levites just as the LORD commanded Moses.
The LORD said to Moses, "This applies to the Levites: Men twenty-five years old or more shall come to take part in the work at the Tent of Meeting, but at the age of fifty, they must retire from their regular service and work no longer. They may assist their brothers in performing their duties at the Tent of Meeting, but they themselves must not do the work. This, then, is how you are to assign the responsibilities of the Levites."
- We Do Not Retire From Church:
- Everyone has a purpose at every age. No one is old and useless.
- Our role in service may change, but we are always serving one another and the world as Gods people in some capacity just like the Levites of every age. 25-50 did the work, but 50+ were also working. And the pattern continued ...
- We should be ministering THROUGH and not just TO senior adults.
- We can do better than viewing senior adults as poor, sick, and invalid. Certainly there are challenges that come with age we need to see to those challenges, but we dont need to put anyone out to pasture waiting around for the grim reaper.
- Our senior adults are a diverse group with diverse needs and just as varied as anyone.
- Stats: 85 years old and older is the fastest growing demographic. Life expectancy is being extended. At West-Ark we have a growing 90-somethings group.
- Senior adults are in many cases finding themselves with wisdom, money, time resources that are highly in demand. It would be a dishonor for them, for us, and for Gods kingdom if they were not given a noble purpose for their lives.
- I believe we can offer a more noble vision and a greater place of honor for the retirement years than simply earning a discount a Dennys, watching game shows and soaps, or spending our children's inheritance at Casinos.
The Importance of Mentoring:
- Remember the elephant herd? Baby elephants are born without survival skills. The whole herd is involved in some way in rearing the young. Of course, that hasnt always been realized.
- (Source: CBS News, Bob Simon) In South Africa's Pilanesberg Park, rhinos were thriving until an unknown killer began stalking them. The killings clearly weren't the work of poachers. The rhinos' horns hadn't been touched. The park rangers began conducting an investigation. It turned out that young male elephants were behind the murders of Pilanesberg's rhinos.
- Why would they do it? Well, like juvenile delinquents, they had grown up without role models. The problem goes back 20 years to South Africa's largest conservation area, Kruger National Park. Kruger had too many elephants. In those days there was no way to relocate these large adults. So researchers decided to kill the adults and save the children, who were more easily transported to other parks.
- The rangers decided to bring in some older, larger bull elephants.
- The bigger, older elephants established a new hierarchy, and that's good news for the rhinos. And the elephants too. They probably would have been euthanised if the program didnt work.
- The juveniles seem to be reading the message loud and clear. Since the big bulls arrived, not one rhino has been killed.
- Gods instructions in Numbers 8 built in mentoring. When Paul writes to Titus on Crete he encourages Titus to build-in mentoring as a means of evangelism.
- We may have make Christianity too much of a science or individual effort. We have forgotten that it is a generational journey.
- I call upon our senior adults to be our mentors. I call upon our young adults and children to be mentored for one day you shall mentored. I doubt that there are many who will say that I have no need of a mentor. For those who say, I have made too many mistakes to mentor, then you are just who we need! Sort out the guilt and regret with God then please share his grace with us.
- An act of mentoring may be as simple as encouraging a younger person to join you in a simple act of service. Anyone who serves will tell you that they learned what they do from someone who did this before them.
Thank You to Our Senior Adults.
- Hope Chest and CURE involve many retired people who havent retired from church
- Tutoring is a mentoring program. It is about much more than math and reading.
- Our senior adults are involved in mission work: some go to other nations, and some work right here.
- Thank you for not retiring from church
The life of a disciple eager to serve others is a life journey. It begins with ones birth in Christ and the beginning of a new life.
West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Morning Sermon, 20 April 2008
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