2 Samuel 21:17
“But Abishai the son of Zeruiah succoured him, and smote the Philistine, and killed him. Then the men of David sware unto him, saying, Thou shalt go no more out with us to battle, that thou quench not the light of Israel.”
When I took over the pastorate at my church, our church’s main workforce was the older generation. I wish you could meet these great saints of God who continue to aggressively serve the LORD into their seventies and eighties. In order to keep the light of the Gospel alive in the Oklahoma City area, I knew that I needed to build a younger workforce to carry on the great works of God. After a couple of years of pastoring this church, it is incredible to watch both the older and younger generations working together. By the way, that is how it is supposed to be done. When both the older and younger generations work together, you will see the light of the Gospel kept alive for many generations.
The verse above is a great example of what I just talked about in my church. David was an old man, yet he still had the fire of God in his heart to defeat giants. However, David wasn’t as young as he used to be, and it was the younger generation that saved him from being killed by the giants. After that battle, David didn’t go into the battle anymore, but he became the advisor to the younger generation on how to fight giants. Several lessons can be learned from this story as to how every church can keep the light alive for generations to come.
First, don’t depend on the aged to do the work forever. In many churches, the younger generation is sitting and watching the older generation do all the work to the detriment of their future. It is not that the older generation can’t do work, but they will eventually die off. If the older generation is the only generation doing the works of God, God’s works will cease when their generation has all graduated to Heaven.
Second, the next generation must step up and fight if we are going to keep the light alive. My friend, it is time for the younger generation to step up and get involved. If the younger generation plays while the older generation works for God, the light of the Gospel will be quenched when the older generation is gone. Now is the time for the younger generation to start stepping up to the forefront of the battle if their church is going to continue to thrive in their city.
Third, don’t judge the older generation for their lack of involvement; they have already fought. Let me caution the younger generation about being critical of the older generation’s inability to be able to do what they are doing. It is not that the older generation doesn’t want to do what the younger generation is doing, it is simply that the older generation doesn’t have the energy to fight the giants as they used to have. The fact that they are still involved is amazing. Instead of criticizing the older generation, you would be wise to ask counsel as to how to do the great works.
Fourth, don’t judge the young generation for their mistakes; they are learning. Let me also caution the older generation from discouraging the younger generation about their mistakes. Don’t forget, you were also young at one time, and you made many mistakes as they presently make. If you encourage them instead of criticizing them, you will find that they will likely embrace you, and together both generations can make great strides to keep the light of the Gospel alive.