“You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.”- Leviticus 19:32
Last week we had my most favorite Southern Gospel group on our campus for our summer dinner concert – Gerald Wolfe and Greater Vision. They have been traveling together for 31 years!!!
Thanks for joining us on this new week of Freedom Fighters. We appreciate you and thank you for taking the time to engage with us on a weekly basis.
Gerald Wolfe is just one of my favorite guys. He is the real deal, and I love their heart for ministry.
They just released a new CD, and one of the songs on this new project is called “Older People.” It touched my heart and made me think about the older people who impacted my life in my early years.
It is very sad to me that younger generation leaders have done such a terrible job in pushing older people out of their lives and kicking them to the curb.
I’ve been watching it for years now – it is tragic and very disappointing, and I believe it grieves the heart of God.
I grew up in a church where older people had value. They were a generation that lived through the depression. They were a generation who were willing to sacrifice in order to support their church financially, and they had big hearts for missions.
They were a generation who learned the disciplines of a daily quiet time, memorizing Scripture, sharing Christ with their friends and neighbors, and being actively involved in their church.
Our Pastor was very sneaky. He developed a Scripture memorization program so the kids in the church could earn a free week at a Christian Camp. We started out memorizing individual verses, but each year the program progressed to longer passages to whole chapters of the Bible.
The deal was that you were assigned an older couple to listen to your verses. Now the real reason for memorizing the verses was not just for a free week at camp. The real reason was to help us hide God’s Word in our hearts.
But the other benefit was this unique opportunity for kids to engage with the seniors in our church. Besides listening to our verses each week, these precious saints would ask us questions to learn more about us. They had a passion to disciple and mentor us. They loved on us, gave us presents, one lady actually drove us to America’s Keswick, where we did paddle boat rides on the Upper Lake.
The bottom line was that for me, these older saints became a part of the fabric of my life. As I grew up, these were the men and women who continued to love on me, pray for me, and encourage me in my ministry.
Senior Saints have so much to offer. They need to be valued. They can have significance if we take the time to honor and love on them in their later years.
Now that I am nearing my seventh decade of life, I realize I am one of those seniors!!! Weird!!! My passion in this decade of life is to build into the lives of younger people, especially younger leaders. I want to be able to now give back to them the amazing gift that so many older saints gave to me.
Don’t forget older people.
Undivided: By Christ, in Christ, For Christ,
Bill Welte, President/CEO
Written by Bill Welte: President/CEO of America’s Keswick: Bill has been married to his childhood sweetheart for 40+ years and has four married kids and 12 amazing grandkids. He loves music and is an avid reader.