People are living longer and longer. We have a woman who is 50 and regularly attends church with her grandmother. Therefore, the older generations of older congregations are holding onto the baton longer and longer which leaves people like Richard and I who are in their later 20's ready to lead and having no place to do it. It leads to frustration and when we leave those emotions unchecked they lead to sin. In the book I'm reading: the Relationship Principles of Jesus Tom Holladay suggests that we deal with that emotion by cutting off the circumstance. (Matt 5:30). What would that look like in this scenario? I think it has looked like the surge of new churches that started in the 80's and is still taking place today. Again, what do you think? I think we end up with churches like Richard's aunt's - 4,000 members and not one over the age of 60. It saddens me to think children in that congregation are missing out on the benefit of having extra-grandparents.
I also wonder what it will be like for me as I age. As the television cartoon the Jetsons becomes more of a reality I'm beginning to think hover-crafts and warp zones aren't so far off. Will I roll with the changes or gravitate to the familiar? Right now I like the music Evelyn likes, but I also like the music my parents like. At the youth ministry convention I attended 2 guys in their early 60's were laying down worship music in funky grooves and I found myself digging it and wishing my parents were there. Some of my best friends are in their 40's and I love their fellowship. I guess my point is that I connect easily with people 1 generation away, in either direction, but find it challenging when 2 or even 3 come between us.
Lastly, all this thinking led me to think about my grandparents, in particular my grandmother. She died 16 years ago on April 5th. I won't mention it then because it's also my mom's birthday and I'd rather celebrate my mom's life than my grandmother's death. But there are days where I feel cheated, she was my last grandparent and she died when I was 12. I think she'd be 82 and would have lived to meet my kids and several of my cousins. I wish I could end this with some great conclusion, but I don't have one. I love the fact that we have so many generations living amongst us, feel cheated that I didn't have this in my life, but am frustrated by what this means for the life of our congregation.
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