Friday, November 4, 2016

Reaching Every Generation in the Church

And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. Acts 2:17 

On the day of Pentecost the Apostle Peter declared that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was a direct fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. And when the Holy Spirit came upon the church both young and old were affected. Today there is a lot of emphasis placed on reaching the "Next Generation." Let me say I am intentional to share the gospel with the young people of today. I am also very passionate about developing and raising up leadership among younger people. I think it is extremely valuable for every believer to have a Timothy in their life to disciple. Nevertheless, it is equally important that we don't lose sight of the other generations represented in our congregations. That we never make the mistake of looking beyond them and make them think they could not attend a fellowship because it is only for younger people. We are not to target any particular audience. I have always prayed, "Lord please make Calvary Chapel San Juan whatever you want it to be." 
One of the joys I have as pastor is looking out into a congregation at all different ages. When I see an older person sitting next to a younger person it brings a smile to my face. When I see them standing side by side in worshipping the Lord or praying together. To see young men involved in smaller groups with older men. Younger women involved in smaller groups of older women, they are learning from one another. They are serving together. When Timothy was pastoring in Ephesus, Paul exhorted him how to treat the members of his congregation when he said, "Do not rebuke and older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters with all purity" (1 Timothy 5:1-2).  It is clear that the church had all different age groups present and each was important and needed to be ministered to. The Apostle John wrote in his first epistle, "I write to you little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His names sake. I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, because you have known the Father. I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one" (1 John 2:12-14). There were those in the church in all different age categories and all levels of both physical and spiritual maturity. This last year, I had the chance to baptize people from 18 to 80. We not only have a young adult group but a senior adult fellowship as well. The body of Christ is diverse in so many ways. May the Lord help us not to disregard the young person in the church or overlook the older person in the congregation. May we learn from one another and love one another no matter the color of hair. "The glory of young men is their strength, and the splendor of old men is their gray head" (Proverbs 20:29).

Every generation needs to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ.