Churches and pastors do older people a disservice when they do not challenge them with discipleship. We are not to stop growing in Christ when we reach a certain age; nor are we to cease to be challenged by our pastors and churches; yet many churches have a mentality that vocational retirement means retirement from life in Christ – retirement from evangelism and mission. To feed older people a diet of shuffleboard and bridge and outings to dinner theatres is to treat them as less than adults in Jesus Christ. To segregate older people within a church is to cut them and the church off from the experience of being a family in Christ.
And suffering? How many people, including older people, turn inward when they experience pain and suffering? The answer for elder men and women is often the same answer as for younger men and women – we are to offer our sufferings to Christ for the benefit of others; we are to use our sufferings in intercessory prayer and intercessory living for others.
How many older people in the professing church have yet to come into a relationship with Jesus Christ? Are they not worth ensuring that Jesus Christ is Lord of their lives? Did not Christ die for them?
We don’t need generational theory in the church; we need the New Testament vision of the Body of Christ and the Family of God.