An Encounter with the Greatest Generation

We just came back from visiting Derick’s Grandparents last week. It was a long drive, but worth every mile. We enjoyed the sweet fellowship of Grammie and Grandpa. Our four year old daughter cried when we had to leave. After our trip I completely understand why they are called the “Greatest Generation”.

 

Grammie and Grandpa are in their 80s but you would hardly know it. They cooked for us. They played with our children. It was especially fun to watch Grammie play soccer and Grandpa play hide and seek with Sophia. But the sweetest moments were the fellowship we had around God’s Word and hearing about their work in the church. It was convicting to me to see their love for God and glean from their wisdom.

 

I feel my generation and younger so often disregard the older generation. Instead we are consumed with ourselves. We as the younger generation often thinks of ourselves as the fountain of knowledge, the ones with the better ideas, and the greater gifts. We feel we have things figured out and all the solutions to the problems of the world. As if the previous generations were unable to fix anything and we have come to save the day. I wish I could say that the church is immune to this thinking, but unfortunately I believe it is just as much a problem for those of us who are Christians. Far too often I have seen churches ripped apart by the younger generations. Men and women who come into ministries like a bull in a china shop. They refuse to listen to the elders and instead push their ways, their plans, their methods, and believe they are the solution to growing the church. I have spoken to so many pastors who were excited to have young people come in to their ministry only to be hurt and disappointed when a short time later the young people used their talents to tear apart the ministry instead of building it up.

 

The longer I have served in ministry the more I have been humbled by God and by my elders. I have realized that I don’t have everything figured out. I need my elders to come around me to guide me, advise me and stir me on to good works. I can learn from the previous generations. They are faithful, diligent, hardworking, loving, and godly. Where is the harm to following in those footsteps?

 

This is the blessing I received from visiting Grammie and Grandpa this past week. Grammie and Grandpa at age 80 work circles around me at age 30. Their faithfulness to their little church is humbling. Their diligence in service to God is inspiring. Their love for people puts my relationships to shame. Their love for God and their desire for godliness and holiness is convicting. They are the “Greatest Generation”, and I hope to follow their example.

 

So, younger generations, look to the elders around you. Who can you follow. I am glad that I not only have Grammie and Grandpa, but also my own parents, in-laws, and many faithful men and women in my church that constantly are a rebuke and point me to Christ. I challenge you, before you make a decision, or follow on with your own agenda for the ministry talk to your elders. You might be surprised by their great wisdom.