What’s age got to do with it?

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about age and how many people like to categorize others according to the age demographic that they are in. Many like to limit what they feel they can do both in the secular and spiritual worlds because of a number. In a youth obsessed culture, John McCain has faced much criticism about running for president in his 70’s. Why is it that in church culture we don’t respect ministers until they reach their mid-fifties and beyond? The church fights enough as it is to stay mainstream and connect to culture yet when we downplay people’s roles and ministries because we don’t feel they are old enough, we are further ostracizing our self from society. Recently, Luke Ravenstahl became the youngest mayor in US history. He is 26 years old and yet he leads, guides, directs, and casts vision for one of the largest cities in North America, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. If this same young man were to try to pastor even some of the smallest of churches we would say that we don’t want a kid in charge. How bizarre is it that we are still holding onto antiquated ideas when even the word of God says not to despise youth and to remember the creator in the days of your youth. There are numerous Biblical examples of men as young as 8 years old fulfilling the calling of God and leading armies to great victories.

This topic has a particular importance for me because my husband and I became pastors at the young age of 21. We are currently missionaries beginning a church plant in Cleveland, Ohio that will have a global impact. God is no respecter of persons. If he has called and commissioned you, you can do it regardless of your age. Age is only an obstacle to those that are disrespectful and unwilling to participate in God’s plan. Many CEO’s, managers, governors, and top ranking officials all fall in the age category of 20’s and 30’s. Why in a world with anti-wrinkle cream, liposuction, and botox is the church still fighting to keep only the oldest members in top ranking positions? This seems out of touch with not only the word of God but with the swing of our culture. Our elders have a lot to provide and give and this is not to be derogatory towards those that are older, however, we must get out of the mindset that you must be a father figure to effectively pastor a church.

I am excited at the trend I see of couples in their 20’s starting churches, pastoring churches, and changing cities for God. Why let the secular world have a one up on us? If a 26 year old can be a mayor to millions of people, why are we worried about a 20 something pastor? Get jealousy and pride out of your heart and be sensitive to what the spirit is saying. Youth are to be the example and the leaders!

1 Tim 4:12-16
12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.KJV

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