I have been thinking about my role as paid ministry staff compared to some of the early church workers.
Specifically, I was asking the question, “who was in their thirties during Paul’s day and what were they doing?” Obviously, we can’t really answer that, but then I got thinking about the various demographics they were called to serve.
Think about it for a moment.
For those of us who are currently the thirty-something leaders (not to mention the twenty-somethings), today’s ministry work can be a smorgasbord of opinions and preferences. Research shows that this is mostly due to the growing life-expectancy rates that we have experienced in the past 20 years.
Putting it simply, people are just sticking around a lot longer these days. This begs the question, “what was the age-range of Believers in Paul’s day?“
Fast forward to first century church, “what was their demographic-spread?” Let’s move to the 1950’s to 1960’s, “how many age-related opinions did they wrestle with?” The widening age-ranges that we are called to reach today has become a difficult and daunting task.
For example, I’m leading a Men’s Ministry that has men in their twenties, and up to their nineties. Did Timothy have that range?
Think about the expanse of opinion from a 25-year-old and a 95-year-old. This proves to have even more challenges in regards to leadership and planning. The Bible is about the only thing they completely agree on; thank the Lord for that!
I can’t help but to wonder, “what was the life expectancy of the churches Paul planted?” For our generation, life-expectancy growth has increased the range of age-related preferences within our churches.
It’s frustrating to watch people in church foyers, as strange demographic cliques break off within their preferences and cultural differences. Worse still, these age-related cliques go as far as choosing churches based on their demographic preferences.
For example, many seniors predominantly preferring the hymns-only, oak-pew chapels they grew up with. Alternately, the hip, relaxed, movie theatre church for the college students.
Are we destined to keep this up or generations to come?
How has the widening generation gap divided your church?