As I was taking a walk last night I was reminded of a passage of Scripture I had read earlier this week. It is interesting how we can read something and down the road God will remind us of it.
In Deuteronomy 29:14-15, ““I make this covenant and this oath, not with you alone, 15 but with him who stands here with us today before the LORD our God, as well as with him who is not here with us today.”
I was struck with the way that God speaks to Moses about the concern for future generations. In essence, He is saying that this covenant is not just for you, but for those who are not even here. This is often contrary to the way we view church. I come so that I can have MY needs met. I come so I can enjoy the worship. I come so that I can hear a sermon that will help ME. Often our view of church is only seen through our own eyes. What is in it for ME?
The tragedy of this position is that it does little to ensure that the church will carry on beyond our lifespan. If I want a church that is all about me, then how will those who have yet to come like it? In a day where we cater to every one’s needs in the church, including the pastor, what are we doing to prepare for future generations? Will the church exist once we are gone?
In the Assemblies of God, we find an aging church. The average minister is around 55-57 years old. Our congregations are graying. In another 50 years what will we be like?
We have to move beyond the thought of building a church that meets the needs of existing church members and prepare to build a church that reaches every generation. How much are we investing in youth? How much are we investing in children? How much are we investing in young adults? How much are we investing in senior adults? Every generation is valuable! We must create a church that is willing to allow each generation the freedom to worship. We must tailor our church to ensure that after the senior saints are gone to be with the Lord, we still have young people to continue in their place.
It is selfish for us to not worry about the next generation. God told Moses, this covenant is not just for you. It is for those who are yet to come. Let us build a church that impacts young and old alike. Let us build a church that will still be strong in another hundred years. Let us build a church!