Dear Old People,
You have become irrelevant by your own choosing.
I would like to know when you retired from full time service. When did God send you your gold watch and tell you good job, now relax? I guess you felt you've done your part, served your time in the church, and now it was your turn to be served. You found that in the Bible where? Thankfully Noah, Moses, John, and Abraham didn't give up, or we'd have no examples. But apparently you haven't studied their lives or learned from them.
You are letting me and my generation down. You have sent many of us to ruin and I with authority must call you on it. (Titus 2:15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.)
My generation finds little relevance in the church. This is because you have taken no interest in us.
You shake our hand in service and say good morning and ask us how we are, but you have no real interest in our lives, our growth, our worldview, or to have a friendship. Then generations below me are even less interested.
One year ago I put a notice in the church bulletin. I invited people in their 50's, 60's, 70's, and 80's to come be apart of our group. Come share with us in your participation the wisdom that only time can offer. Come fellowship with us and be a part of our lives.
But, you did not respond and so many middle age people and younger are struggling to survive, find purpose, know how to respond to the difficulties of their lives or apply the teachings of Jesus because you are too self focused to give a care and share what you know and have experienced.
I pass by your large Sunday School classes in despair as I watch you all gathered. You of course don't notice me or my peers. I look for you amongst the 30 and 40 somethings of my class and you are not there. I walk down preschool hall and you are not there. I circle back by the youth and you are not there.
You are all gathered together.
How are we to learn the ways of God, if not from you? Do you think 52 sermons a year hold the keys to life? Do you think we should be smart enough to figure it out on our own? Do you think it's the responsibility of our church staff to teach us?
How am I as an almost 40 something teacher suppose to teach another 40 something about the things yet to come into their lives? How do I prep them for seeking God if: their child uses drugs, their spouse has an affair, their child dies, their parent dies, they get cancer, they become disabled, their teenager is struggling, they lose their job of 20 years?
You have the answers and experience - not me. Yet you have left the task to me and others my age. We've had to step up to teach this group when I should be teaching teenagers and newlyweds.
Did you not know that you are to be a teacher? (Hebrews 5:12 In fact though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food.)
Oh I know, you have taught before. But why did you stop?
I know your thoughts because many of you have shared, "I've done my service in the church" this is your mantra and our death sentence.
Well, I'm angry with you. I've begged for teaching and you won't provide it. I've begged for friendship, but you won't give it. I've asked you to lead, but you won't take it.
Thanks for passing the offering plate, it’s really changed our lives.
The trusted knowledge I have about Jesus has came from people older than me. My mom introduced me to Jesus. My dad took me to church. My 65 year old grandmother taught my first grade Sunday School class. My 65 year old friend help me survive college. My 75 year old friend taught me how to be a good husband. When I was a kid the white hairs were the only ones that taught.
Old people make the difference, but today I can't get you to be involved in our lives. I have one man over 65 involved in my life and I treasure his friendship. His friendship is more precious than gold. But I am one of the few lucky ones. I know hundreds of men, and none of them have a mentor, but they'd accept one.
Why do you leave us to doom? Where is it in the Bible that you are called but for a period of time? Where is it in the Bible that says church is about having a class with people about your same age? Have your forgotten the great commission? When did you decide you had enough disciples?
Step up! Get involved in our lives. You are welcomed. You will be trusted, and in time, your fellowship will be as prized as gold.
There was a man who invested in my life from his 60's to his 70's. Not only mine, but many young men. When he died, his funeral was full of young people weeping for the loss of a leader. This man invested his life in us, fellowshipped with us, taught us the Gospels, and we knew at his funeral it would be hard to find another like him.
He ran the race right up to his death, and even from his hospital bed @ 75 he was giving us instruction. His last words to us were, "Carry on!"
Who will be at your funeral. Your kids and a few old friends? I won't be there, because you've had no impact on my life, shared no life changing truth and have kept your old age for gardening and golf.
You have not shared with me the places I must visit, the books I must read, the things I must not forget. You have not helped me become a better husband, father, friend or worker. You've kept your years of vast experience and learning for witty prayers before the offering and Thanksgiving dinner. You give your tithe and feel good, but yet you won't let go of one bit of your precious time.
Yes, it is true and you know it. As you have gotten older you have become irrelevant at the time you could have the greatest impact on me and my generation.
You are not dead, but you may as well be, because it is like you are not even there.
Prove me wrong in this.
Come teach us. Come be a part of our lives. Come know us, we want to know you. We are desperate for the love of old people and to love old people. Many of us need spiritual parents and grandparents.
We meet in room 247 above the gym. I dare you to step into the adventure of a lifetime. I dare you to make your old age the greatest part of your life. I dare you to make me weep at your funeral.