The Myth of Desiring a Youthful Church

“Older men should be level-headed, dignified, prudent, sound in faith, love, and patience.”

(Titus 2:2)

Paul shifts from speaking about the requirements for behavior amongst the formal leadership of the church to speaking about those who are in the church as a whole, and he begins with the older men (to distinguish them from those who hold the office of Elder). It is significant that Paul begins with this group of people because amongst these men you will find the informal leadership of the church. These men, because of their maturity and character, have earned the respect of all in the context of the church and thus, when they speak, people will listen.

It is very important that we hear these words in today’s culture because we have turned the model on its head and instead of looking to the older men and women of the church for mature guidance, the church seems to cater to the young. The setting, the music, the activities all tend to be geared toward engaging the younger generation rather than the older generation. And while it is true that the young are “the future of our church,” it is the responsibility of the mature in the church to leave this generation a church that is grounded on the scriptures.

Instead of bending over backwards to entertain the youth for fear that they will get bored and go to other churches that will entertain them, we should be bending over backwards to engage the youth with our mature members (older men and women) so that our youth will learn the lessons of wisdom from their elders. Sadly, this is an unpopular mindset in a world where adults dream of being younger again and celebrate adolescence, but it is the mindset of the Scriptures.

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