Friday, February 17, 2017

An Army of Old People, Rightly Trained

I think it's time to quit pining for an army of youth. I've heard the phrase all my life (especially when I was a youth)--visions of what a great army of youth, rightly trained, could do in the world.  And I do believe in the potential of young people. But I also believe that the longed-for army is becoming a crutch now. The church sits backs and folds its hands and waits for the army of youth to sweep in at the end of time and fix things. There is another way.





I sat in a morning meeting at Campmeeting last summer--I had specially arranged babysitting so I could go to one meeting of the day for grown-ups.  I remember looking around me, and noticing the others were more grown-up than I.   The army of youth was not bivouacking at Campmeeting that year.  The pre-retirement adults weren't exactly flocking there, either.  I didn't see much hair in tones that weren't silvery. What I did see, however, was a lot of potential.

I saw people who got up early, carrying their Bibles, to sit on hard benches and listen to a sermon.  Yes, a sermon. I looked around at them, faithful souls, if slow-moving, and I thought about the commitment that must have brought them. I'm sure those benches were harder on them than on me. I thought about how many sermons they had absorbed over the years, how many miles of underlining in those Bibles, how many hours of prayer.



We have an army. They've already shown up. We can't afford to overlook what we have, because we're pining for what we don't. We can't afford to huddle in our Sabbath School classes, encouraging each other with the thought of other people sharing the gospel for us. It's time to embrace our reality.

I'm picturing the objections now.  The seniors have already given their years of youth to serve the church. What's more, age hurts--what they give costs them more than it would a younger person.  

And I agree. But they also have resources we need.  They have experience, and they have connections. 



Grandparents especially are rich in the relationships that don't sever easily--family.  Young adults may leave the church, but as long as Grandma dotes and Grandpa tells good stories, they can't stop the church from coming to them.  People with a lot of life experience not only know people, they've grown the confidence and wisdom to care about eternity, and to talk about it out loud. And in the end, who's going to be more approachable and easy to trust--your overworked pastor, stuffed into a suit and weary from a parade of people, or a warm grandparent type? 

 Maybe it's time to free up our seniors from baking the communion bread and taking up the offering, and focus on what they can do for the lost world.  Our best evangelistic resources might just be going to waste, wishing they were younger, not knowing what potential is in their hands.



Maybe.  Maybe my vision of an army of seniors is just the same thing as the dream about youth. Maybe it's a crutch--daydreaming that someone else will share the gospel and change the world. It's always easier, I expect, to see your own obstacles, and other people's potential. Maybe the key isn't finding the right demographic of people to tie the burden on to.  It's seeing what we have, and using it. It's our burden, and it's not so heavy when we lift together.

We have an army.  It might not look the way we pictured, but we can't afford to overlook people who show up. It's time to kill the daydream, and make something out of reality.








19 comments:

  1. Well put. I have used my age and physical limitations for too long. Instead of whining about what I can't do, I think it's about time I start looking for what I can be useful in.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello, I work for the compass magazine. I'd like to discuss with you the potential of publishing this article on our website. Please send me an email at admin@thecompassmagazine.com to discuss publication "an army of old people rightly trained." Looking forward to hearing from you soon. Blessings. -Ingram London

    ReplyDelete
  3. Laura, a good share of this piece cannot be read unless I highlight it. Can you fix that? I'm not tech savvy so if that's a dumb question, forgive. Your blog was just forwarded to me; looks like I'll be enjoying it. Blessings--

    ReplyDelete
  4. I remember that this is the post that helped my kids know about their starting day last year. write my paper for me They didn't get any notification through message from the school so they had to go online and search. They found this article and it helped them greatly.

    ReplyDelete
  5. We also provide pre-loading, temperature control, and other services to make transporting your Earthwork service texas in USA cargo easier than ever. Contact us today to learn more about our services

    ReplyDelete
  6. latitude, particularly when it comes to conducting foreign business. Both the cost of the goods and the cost of financing are less expensive than at neighbourhood banks. TACB is able to offer lending facilitiesTrade advisory services in Dubai since they are knowledgeable about trade finance and have a lot of experience working with foreign banks. Customers can access these services if they desire to complete transactions.

    ReplyDelete
  7. As a result, we are able to select the best Shopify development dubai, such as platform-based, headless, or microservices-based development, before developing and implementing the solution in a way that preserves sufficient integrity with present business operations.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Contemporary design, coupled with high functionality, at affordable prices this has always been and will always be our guiding principle. lighting create cutting-edge items that are specifically crafted to meet the needs of our clients. lighting current focus is on smart lighting, which aims to network light sources digitally and make them more user-friendly to regulate. We will continue to export modern lightingelectra electrical lighting kdk in Dubai solutions from the Austrian Tyrol to the entire world, no matter what the future of lighting holds.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It is inspiring to see individuals dedicated to their faith, willing to make sacrifices to attend Campmeeting and deepen their spiritual growth. The hard benches and early mornings demonstrate their commitment to their beliefs and the years of dedication shown through underlined Bibles and hours of prayer are testament to their steadfastness. On the other hand, hydrocarbon pumps play a crucial role in the oil and gas industry, especially in the city of Aberdeen, known for its thriving energy sector. These pumps ensure efficient and safe hydrocarbon pumps Aberdeenbstances, contributing to the industry's success.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This applies not only in matters of faith, but in all aspects of life. Similarly, it is important to take care of and maintain our possessions, including our cars, which can be done through services like Ottawa Auto Detailing.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I completely agree that waiting for an "army of youth" to solve all our problems is not the answer. We need to actively involve and empower young people to take action and create change now. As for Freezer truck delivery in Forthworth,Texas, there are several local companies that offer this service, such as Fort Worth Cold Storage and Dixie Cold Storage.

    ReplyDelete
  12. It's wonderful that you were able to attend the morning meeting at Campmeeting despite the demographic being different from what you expected. It's important to focus on the potential that exists in any situation, rather than getting hung up on preconceived notions. By the way, for those in need of private & public notary services Dubai, there are many reputable providers available to assist you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. The idea of embracing our reality and taking action is crucial in all areas of life, including our faith and beliefs. It's important to recognize and utilize the resources and tools we have available to us. For those interested in fitness, Kettlebell Dubai offers high-quality kettlebell equipment and training services for individuals looking to improve their physical health and well-being.

    ReplyDelete
  14. An Army of Old People, Rightly Trained" delves into the wisdom and potential of experienced individuals. Similarly, empower the workforce on drilling rigs withDrilling rig catering services in Texas—where the seasoned hands behind the scenes receive well-deserved sustenance, fostering productivity and camaraderie in the energy frontier.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Empowering an army of rightly trained individuals, regardless of age, is a powerful vision. Just as the strength lies in training, fortify your surroundings with fencing services Edmonton Create a formidable defense that transcends age, ensuring security and stability for all. Here's to strength in training and resilience in every aspect of life!

    ReplyDelete
  16. An Army of Old People, Rightly Trained" highlights the potential of experienced individuals contributing meaningfully to society. This insightful perspective challenges stereotypes about aging. While contemplating the richness of such ideas, consider practical aspects of daily life – explore affordableMobile Car Wash services in Ottawa. Just as wisdom transcends age, a clean vehicle reflects timeless care and attention.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Perhaps it's time to shift focus from yearning for an idealized army of youth to appreciating the collective wisdom and experience that diverse generations bring. Embrace the richness of perspectives in your surroundings, just as you would enhance your living space with the expertise of the best interior fit-out company in Dubai, ensuring a blend of tradition and modernity.

    ReplyDelete
  18. An Army of Old People, Rightly Trained" is a thought-provoking piece on harnessing the wisdom of age. Enhance your reflective moments with a cup of coffee brewed from the best wholesale coffee dubai turning contemplation into a rich experience that celebrates both the depth of knowledge and the indulgence of exquisite flavors.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Rather than passively waiting for an envisioned army of youth, let's empower and engage the younger generation today to create positive change. Proactivity and collaboration can yield transformative results. And just like a delightful شوكليت بار, embracing this approach adds sweetness to the journey of progress.

    ReplyDelete