God is a master planner. He knew what He was doing when he allowed for age in this life. Having the old and young in the same vineyard of God is a blessing. However, I have always noticed a gap between the older generation and the younger generation in the church.
Millennials have been stereotyped as a generation with an entitlement mentality. The truth is millenials have been raised in a generation where they question everything. We want to know why everything is done. We’ve learnt to question cultures and traditions. We’ve learnt not to just go with the flow. Although we sometimes find ourselves in trouble as a result of our inquisitiveness, it isn’t always a bad thing.
The older generation think the younger generation is disrespectful. The younger generation think the older ones are old people and they don’t just get it. There sometimes is an element of truth to both perceptions but how can we then work together peacefully since we will always be together?
We both need each other to succeed. The church needs the wisdom of the old and the strength of the youths.
“And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions;”. Joel 2:28
I believe so many factors including life experiences contribute to how fast we develop mentally. Life release her sting at different phases of life for different people. Therefore, i challenge the assumption that an older person ALWAYS have more experience than a younger person. I have highlighted the word ‘always’ as i agree that age can be a plus when it comes to life experiences in certain areas.
Age can give wisdom but it can’t give you vision. Wisdom without vision will lead you nowhere.
Google says wisdom is the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement; the quality of being wise. Vision is the faculty or state of being able to see. The ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom.
According to the above definitions, wisdom and vision goes side by side. You need wisdom to be able to execute a vision properly.
Joel 2:28 says visions will be given to the young people in the last days. Not surprising as we can already see this happening around us especially in this technology age.
The story of Samson in the bible paints a picture of what can happen when the older and younger generations work together.
26 Samson said to the young servant who was leading him by the hand, “Place my hands against the pillars that hold up the temple. I want to rest against them.” 27 Now the temple was completely filled with people. All the Philistine rulers were there, and there were about 3,000 men and women on the roof who were watching as Samson amused them.
28 Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me just one more time. With one blow let me pay back the Philistines for the loss of my two eyes.” 29 Then Samson put his hands on the two center pillars that held up the temple. Pushing against them with both hands, 30 he prayed, “Let me die with the Philistines.” And the temple crashed down on the Philistine rulers and all the people. So he killed more people when he died than he had during his entire lifetime. Judges 16:26-30.
Samson represents the older generation. He needed to kill the Philistines. He knew what he wanted to do but he couldn’t have achieved this without the help of a younger person who was able to see. Although Samson had the idea, his blindness would have prevented him from being able to execute his plans.
The younger boy didn’t know what the plan was, but he was able to help place the hand of Samson against the pillars with the aid of his vision.
The story of Samson will not be told completely if the sight of the younger boy is overlooked and not acknowledged. Samson was willing to be vulnerable enough to admit that although he was the older person and he had the idea, he needed help with sight and he didn’t allow pride of age and experience prevent him from asking. He was able to accept that although he has lived longer than the younger lad, there was something he could benefit from him.
Similarly, the story of Namaan cannot be told completely if the advice of the little girl is not acknowledged (2 Kings 5).
I pray we are able to adopt this method in the body of Christ. The more we shun the younger ones in church, the more they will start keeping quiet and if care is not taken, they might go to other places where they feel they will be heard.
Millennials also need to know that the wisdom of the older generation is priceless. God has made life so, so we can bring our strengths to fight together. The older generations alone will not achieve much. The same applies to the younger generation. Looking forward to a body of Christ that will work together, fight together and win together.