It is an American ideal. Work long enough. Work hard enough. Earn enough, retire and rest, relax and create the remaining healthy days you have in life. Wonderful aspiration. Lousy theology.
There is no retirement in the kingdom of God.
We need each generation dreaming God’s dreams and operating from His vision so that the church will be faithful and fruitful throughout all generations until Jesus comes.
One of our problems in the church is when our senior saints retire from ministry or live by a nostalgic worship of the past instead by the continuing call to ministry and the vision God has for new generations of disciples living in the present and future.
A key is to help cast vision among the older generations so that they do not selfishly withdrew from ministry nor fearfully hold onto to power so that nothing changes that require them to become new.
There are at least three things the church must do to cast vision within its senior saints.
1. CONTINUOUSLY TEACH POSITIVELY THE NEW OPPORTUNITIES THAT COME AS THE WORLD CHANGES. For example, technology enables us to teach and communicate the Gospel in fresh ways that answer the questions and meet the life needs of emerging generations. What can our church do to use this technology to fulfill the Great Commission?
2. THE OLDEST GENERATIONS HAVE INVESTED MUCH OF THEIR LIVES TO HELP THE CHURCH BE FAITHFUL AND FRUITFUL. Let’s celebrate that but then move forward to answer the question: What will we do to make sure that we leave a legacy of faithfulness and fruitfulness that new generations can build on without having to live in the past? How can we help the story they write be even more glorious than the one we have written?
3. THE CHRISTIAN MINISTRY IS ONE OF SACRIFICE FOR THE SAKE OF OTHERS. Honestly ask evaluative questions:
“What are we holding on to that keeps us from making disciples of people now and in the future?”
“What is God telling me to do personally to help His purposes be accomplished?”
© 2015 by Stephen L Dunn
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