I’ve been told many times that God doesn’t talk about retiring in the Bible.
That’s not correct. In Numbers 8, God tells Moses that male Levites 25 years old and older would work in the tent of meeting until they reach the age of 50. Then they would retire and assist their brothers in doing the work, but not do it.
The older brothers were to retire. By retiring, they left room for the next generation to take the lead and do the work while the older generation was still around to help. God didn’t tell them to retire and go play golf everyday. The older men still had a role to play – just not the main one.
That’s how it should work today.
The younger generation needs to be taught how to lead and do the work so that the older generation can step back into a support role. Sometimes the older team can struggle with this – they are used to being the ones in charge. When the younger generation takes the lead, they will do it differently because God has gifted them with different talents and skills. Sometimes it hard for the older generation to respect that and let the younger team lead like God is calling them to lead.
I am hearing of more and more churches that are closing their doors. And a constant theme in these churches is that they had not let the younger generation take the lead so the younger people left the church in order to find someplace that would let them do what God was calling them to do.
And the old church dies – literally – as its old members die.
Not what God desires from us.
The older generation needs to be obedient in passing down the torch of leadership even if it means things are going to change. Our God is a God of change…of transformation. Things should be constantly changing. That’s what God is all about.
The older generation has a lot to contribute to the church – wisdom, experience and knowledge. But only if they are willing to change.
If they are not flexible, they become an obstacle to keeping the church healthy and growing. And more churches die.
Please help us always to be open to your change, Abba Father.