Aging Biblically

The church is in dire need of elderly people who are living radically for their faith. And some of these young people are dying to come under the tutelage of elderly people that seriously cannot wait to see Jesus and are living that way.

In this video, Francis Chan offers a strong exhortation to age biblically. And a biblical view of aging, from his perspective, takes seriously that every year we live, we are one step closer to meeting Jesus. So every year should bring with in an increased awareness of how precious time is and how we should make use of every moment to serve him.

But he doesn’t think Christians in America age well. He doesn’t come out and say it explicitly, but the implication is that he thinks many older Christians in America tend to hoard their time and resources rather than sharing both freely for the benefit of the following generations.

The video is well worth a few minutes of your time. Check it out and let us know what you think.

About Marc Cortez

Theology Prof at Wheaton College, husband, father, & blogger, who loves theology, church history, ministry, pop culture, books, and life in general.

4 thoughts on “Aging Biblically

  1. Sadly, we are in the age of encouraging church building, not faith building. The behavior in the older Christians that is alluded to in the initial quote is unfortunately out of place in many organizational success based churches today (lip service to the contrary not withstanding). This discouragement is not loud and overt, of course, but nonetheless clear and firm. Let us pray that the Spirit would move to change this…

  2. A person can progress so much in knowledge that they may simply see spiritual life differently than someone a generation younger. My mother, who was 41 years older than me, often said things I didn’t understand in response to my best intentions. “True religion is meeting widows and orphans in their needs’—only you find out your efforts accomplished little and there are organizations in our culture that could do a much better job. Older people who have their heads above the water financially may be contributing money to the causes they think are right, and expertly organized to accomplish their goals, and for the ones who are still poor life really may be a struggle and they don’t have the opportunity to do those things. Tread carefully.
    Also, the world is changing so rapidly that the the concept of advantage and disadvantage is being turned on its head. A high level UN meeting I attended in 2000 said pretty much the same thing—other cultures are “leapfrogging” us as they adopt technology, which doesn’t cost all that much to acquire. And in a lot of contemporary societies people have more freedom to enjoy life—not burdened with the responsibility of militarily eliminating the bad guys or belonging to churches that seek to control them.

    So, some spiritual concepts may yet sell well to the American public, indoctrinated with a burden of accomplishing justice. But in the real, new world that may no longer apply.

  3. We seem to be reaping the seeds that were sown many years ago. My experience as a believer since the early 70’s is that evangelical churches were focused on doing and ignored the being aspect of our journey. We were busy serving God as our expression of faith in Him but we didn’t spend time alone with Him. Throughout the years, church leaders have spent much time encouraging church building as Ken says (above), and travelling to other parts of the world on missionary trips. I believe all this took place at a time when God was saying to the Church, ‘Don’t just do something, stand there.’ That has left the church without leadership for much needed mentoring, discipleship and spiritual formation. I would love to see the older, more experienced believers spend time passing along their wisdom of faith in Jesus but it leaves me with questions; two of which are: Who are the young people that wish to spend time with the elderly? Have the elderly grown in their own faith enough to be capable of passing on to the young or have they spent too much time doing and not being? Thank you so much for sharing this Marc. May God bless you richly.

  4. A couple of years back I was working with senior adults (defined as 50 +) in a large, contemporary megachurch (over 5,000 in attendance; sometimes over 7,500). Over 1,200 were over 50. Over 500 were over 60. Yet, very few participated in “senior” events. Why? I believe there were two basic reasons: 1) The church did not take seniors seriously. Little funding/staffing. Wanted seniors basically to volunteer. And 2) I think most of those 50+ didn’t want to be identified as seniors. Too busy trying to remain hip, find adventure or a new mate, revisiting high school friends, trends, emotions, music, whatever. It would have been laughable if it weren’t so pathetic. (Sorry-don’t mean to be/sound negative or critical) . Now, there were some seniors who were growing old gracefully, purposefully, wisely. For these I am grateful. But the issues raised in this post and in the video are real and noteworthy. Thank you for this information.

Comments are closed.