I have a huge passion for the church as a movement. It’s fantastic to see young, energetic, stylish churches – it’s also powerful to see older, wiser, gentler churches built on older foundations. Both are excellent, but nothing excites me as much as seeing a generational combination of people representing all ages, passionately worshipping the same unending, unchanging Saviour. It’s a beautiful situation.
Today I ran the sound desk for our ‘more mature’ group – ‘There’s More To Life’ (TMTL for short). It was their Christmas celebration and after a brilliant service, the group of around 75 people had Christmas dinner together. To my immense surprise (and happiness), I was invited to join the group for lunch. It was wonderful! I got to spend lunch with people who were mostly nearly three times my age, hear fascinating stories from their past as well as many of their phenomenal faith-filled experiences. I left feeling humbled and blessed to have the opportunity to spend time with some passionate, Godly, older generations who so are beginning to so lovingly pass the baton over to the generations that follow them. Amazing.
In the evening, Revolution gathered at the house of two of the members (massive thank you to the Ranger family for their exceptional hospitality and faith to allow that number of teenagers into their house!) to relax, play a bit of five-player FIFA and generally enjoy each other’s company. Take a look at the picture below:
The picture may not be the best quality going, but what you see there is something that always astounds me. In that close knit huddle of people and immediately to the right of it too are a collection of people ranging in age from 12-23 and everything in between. Four of us were over 18 whilst three were not even teenagers yet, but there was…there is a phenomenal sense of camaraderie. Everyone treats each other respectfully (mostly…but hey, they are mostly teenagers after all) and without exception, everyone is drawn together by their love for Jesus. It’s enthusing; it’s exhilarating; it’s energising to spend time with young people who are so kind, so loving and so passionate about their faith. Remarkable.
In two different groups, I went from being the youngest by quite some way to the oldest and *cough* most responsible…but I was in awe of both group’s collective faithfulness. If we were to build an aging church, we’d have wisdom in abundance but we’d lack youthful exuberance and reckless faith. To build a youth church alone would be to discard the staggering collective wisdom of the generations on whose shoulders we stand. To be a part of a church that honours both the older and the younger generations – often the two most marginalised in Christianity – is something extremely special. This is the kind of church I want to be a part of. A church that transcends the generations is what I’m after.