It is very interesting to observe that in recent years with better health care people are generally living longer with the average life expectancy in the UK easily exceeding 80 years old. It appears that Japan still tops the world rankings for life expectancy.
As a consequence, our churches still have a reasonable number of attendees in the over 70 category however many churches have young congregations with young families and young children dominating in numbers.
Many churches spend a lot of time and resources investing in young people, youth clubs, Sunday schools, nurseries and creches and at the same time not concentrating the same resources in the equally valuable older groups.
As far as I can see our church is extremely strong at encouraging children’s work and ministries with young women like Jodie and Andrea doing great work every week. At the same time, we see the importance of the elderly in encouraging Seniors Lunches, support for the aged and in general a reasonable balance is achieved between supporting both young and older people.
Given that older people have great life experience, wisdom and maturity we must not forget or underestimate the importance of their role in the modern church. Including them in leadership, decision making and seeking their wisdom is not only sensible but essential in church life.
While we all need to appreciate and comprehend the importance in children and youth, at the same time we must place equal importance in drawing on the wisdom of our older people. In recent weeks and months, I have attended the funerals of 2 older friends in Mike Baker and my close friend Stan both who taught me many things the latter being a true inspiration to me over a 20 year period and passing on wisdom and a remarkable life perspective and outlook in the face of adversity.
So in summary, let us remember the role of our older church members as well as our youth and realise that we can learn a great deal from both age groups in very different ways.