How many people outside of your peers (same age/stage of life as you) at your church would you say you know and are invested in in some capacity?
For some of you, that’s an easy question to answer, as I see women in our church serving our children on Sunday mornings, and preparing meals for families. For others of us, though, this question might require some thought.
We (my husband and I) lead a small group of young adults here at Willowdale Chapel and something that has become pretty clear to us, both in our own experience and from talking with our group, is that there can be a bit of a divide between young and old in churches.
Friends, this is not the way it should be!
Titus 2 exhorts us: “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 4to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. 6 Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. 7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.”
The implications here are that young women should be connected with those older than them in the church so they can learn and grow, and that older women should be stepping up to teach those younger women.
This doesn’t mean only those at the opposite ends of the spectrum qualify. Here are a few simple examples:
Befriending someone who is five or ten years behind you in the career world to help them navigate the challenges ahead is a great way to come alongside and teach.
Seeking out someone who has children that are five or ten years older than yours is a great way to find a spiritual mentor.
Joining a Bible study with women who are a decade or two apart from you will provide fresh perspectives on your current situations and struggles.
As a family, invite a single woman over for supper and provide a place for her to belong.
We, the church, are the body of Christ – a living, dynamic being. If we’re not connecting to one another, the whole church suffers. If my hands are not working in concert with my legs, I could make a huge mess of the meal I might be preparing at the counter in my kitchen as I move around to get ingredients and tools. If my eyes are not in sync with my brain, driving a car could prove fatal.
The same goes for discipleship. If we’re leaving gaps in the body of Christ where generations are not interacting with one another, we’re failing to function correctly, and that contributes to a loss for everyone.
Thankfully, Willowdale is full of women of a variety of ages and there are various ways set up for us to connect. But it doesn’t have to be formal and structured to take on discipleship. You can simply chat with someone after the service next Sunday who might not be in your peer group and find ways to start building a relationship with them. I have a feeling that God would find that quite glorifying to him and beneficial for y’all.