Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Why older Christians matter more than ever

Some of us at Immanuel Church have lived a few years. Are we still worth much? Yes, for many reasons. Here is one high on the list. As younger people enter into our church, it is our privilege to welcome them, honor them, include them, empower them, lift them up -- and show them what radical Christianity looks like.

Here is a quote from an article I read last week, "Young, Restless and Ready for Revival" (Christianity Today, December 2007):

"Students tell me that spiritual mentors who are 'on fire for Jesus,' consistent in their walks with God, who remained sexually pure in their own dating and marriage relationships, and who live full-of-the-Holy-Spirit lives in front of them are rare. But they are longing for, begging for, older Christians to be solid spiritual mentors and parents to them, to pray powerfully for and with them. They don't need more programs. They want prayer and revival for their generation."

Okay, older members of Immanuel Church, let's speak to that yearning in the hearts of younger people! Here is what every one of us can do: look into the eyes of younger people who visit us, show them that we care, say the words "I love you" and act like it, say "How can I pray for you this week?" and do it, tell them "I am praying that God will use you powerfully in your generation," and pray for revival not only in your days but also in theirs. No young person (or older person, for that matter) wants to be regimented and smothered and hovered over, but everyone wants a life that really counts for God. Let's lift the next generation up in that way. Let's breathe life into them. Let's set them free to be all-out for God. And that means, first of all, you and I must be all-out for God.

I remember one Sunday night around 1965 at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena, when I was hanging out with some high school buddies in the church parking lot one night, dear old Alfred Dickson happened to walk by and I heard him comment under his breath, "Isn't it wonderful to have all these young people here?!?"