Are old people irrelevant in today’s church?

This question was posed to me in a Christian youth forum
that I had been invited to attend. Part of my answer was to say that I believed
that old people in the church were no more relevant or irrelevant than they are
in secular society. However, in many western societies old people were seen as
non-entities or rather as an unseen sector of the community.
When challenged to explain I put it this way;
The world is getting faster, faster broadband, new faster technology
that is unintelligible to older people. The world of older people is a lot
slower they are about face to face encounters with friend and people, they don’t
like talking to a faceless corporation and when they do talk to a human that
human lives in India or the Philippians. Today it’s about being part of a
global citizenship rather than a vital and productive part of a village
community.
Older people are being bombarded by new political and social
movements. They are being blamed by 16 year old teenagers that they have ruined the
futures of millions of young people. Yet when they were young they used glass
bottle not plastic, they had paper bags not plastic bags, they walked to
school, or went by public transport, and they were never driven. Yet those same
16 year old feel that they can shout the loudest at the old and never come up
with realistic solutions for themselves.
The old political paradigms and parties that they trusted
have become blurred and no longer reflect the values that they once held.
Social media as a way of communicating with your next door neighbour seems
nonsensical when all you have to do is get up and walk next door and talk to
them face to face.

Ideas and concepts of gender and identity have been warped
and are completely unrecognisable to many of the conservative ideals that are
held by the old.
It is for these reasons and perhaps many more that old
people, feel that they are unseen or feel as though they are irrelevant. Young
people come to church with a different worldview and with a sense of
entitlement that the old never had.  The
Old come to church for relationship and fellowship and meeting. The young come
to church to text their friend in the next row and many shout about their
rights. Yet youth forgets the wisdom of age and the lessons that can be learnt
through life stories. Experience always trumps Google, or pintrest or snapchat and even instagram. The best and most
functional churches are those that have meaning and involvement by all ages
within the church.
The old are just as relevant in church as the young. The
young need to see the old just the same way that Jesus sees them.

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