The Cedarbrook Wildcats. I’m sure you’ve heard of them. OK…well maybe not. That was my eighth grade football team. And we were incredible. There are times in your life where certain memories are more vivid than others. And much of that football season is still vivid. One of those vivid memories was a loud, boisterous, spit-filled pre-game speech. In that speech, the line our coach used to rally the troops was simply this: boys…you are a force to be reckoned with.
It was awesome. We felt invincible. And I guess it worked because no one ever beat us that year. What made us so good? Skill wise…I have no clue. But mentally we had resolved together to play as hard as we could, for as long as we could, and leave the rest on the field (insert a host of other sports phraseology here). Fast forward twenty some years later and those same words still ring in my ears.
Not so much about football, but about my call as a disciple of Christ. As a thirty year old, can I honestly say that I am a force to be reckoned with for the kingdom of God? A more humbling thought for me is this…in thirty years will I be able to still then say that I am a force to be reckoned with for the glory of God?
This past Sunday at Mercy Hill, we looked again at the tiny book of Philemon. Hidden in the pages of this letter we see a great example from the Apostle Paul. The example is that of a man who, although well aged in years, is still fighting (in prison) for the message of the gospel to go forth. And it begs the question…what will our life be about when we turn 60 or 70 years old? Maybe the question for you is not when but what. As a 60 year-old, what is your life about?
The common lie from our culture is that our life ought to be spent working insanely hard while we are young so that we can play when we are old. In a recent article on Desiring God, Paul Maxwell made a plea for older men to make their life about something different. He writes,
“There is a sad and wide gulf between older men and younger men today. Generational discrimination and segregation are alive and, well, discouraging. We have to pass the torch somehow, but so many of the bridges have been burnt. Younger guys need older guys. Older men, by God’s design and grace, there are things we will get from you and no one else. Especially those of us without dads, or Christian dads, or engaged and intentional Christian dads.”
Ladies, the reality is no different for you. Mercy Hill, and the church at large, needs those who are older to invest their lives back into those who are younger. Like the Apostle Paul, we need an older generation who will be, for all intents and purposes, a force to be reckoned with.
There are a couple easy ways to apply this. First, as pastor Andrew mentioned yesterday, we are in need of more marriage mentoring couples. Furthermore, one of the easiest ways to invest in younger men and women is to join a community group. To find out more information or to sign up for any of the above you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Jeremy Dager (Pastor of Age-based Ministries)