Growing Older and More Useful for Grace Ministry
One of my favorite memories was the time I visited a home as a 17-year-old preacher boy when the young girl answering the door called to her mother to tell her that a "man" at the door wanted to talk to her.
But life is made up of transitions. Recently, for the first time, I was called elderly. It had the same feel as the first time I got a senior discount that I did not ask for! It also took me by surprise because I don't feel elderly. I recall a pastor referring to himself as an "old man." He was 53. When I was 53, a 49 year old work associate sometimes called me "young man."
I look in the mirror every day so knew the "elderly" comment would someday come. The point being made to me was that younger people respond better to people their own age. Never mind that I can outwork and outrun many (if not most) men half my age.
Renewal ministry, however, is different. Young leadership is definitely relevant for evangelism and outreach or for interacting to meet social needs. But if the need of hurting people is to experience Christ for healing and recovery, age does not diminish but rather supports the ministry that provides for it. That means, the longer I continue down the road on my journey in grace, and the more I am enriched in my experience of Christ, the more relevant and effectual I am to young and old alike to guide and support their journey.
"Is anyone of you sick? He should call the elders of the church..." (James 5:14).
(Just recently, the news reported two different commercial airplanes were in similar trouble. One, piloted by an inexperienced crew, crashed killing all aboard and also a family on the ground. The other, piloted by an experienced crew, landed safely.)
Don Loy Whisnant/Journey Notes 10J06