But they did not listen even to the judges! Instead, they prostituted themselves to other gods and bowed down to them. They quickly turned from the way in which their fathers, who had obeyed the commands of the Lord, had once walked. This generation did not act the same way their fathers had acted (Judges 2:17 EHV ~ bold is mine).
Each generation of Jesus-followers must take care to, in its teaching, music, programs and outreach, retain a tangible tie to the way in which the Fathers of the Faith walked with the Lord. Tending too far into what is hip now or what was in fashion then is an unnecessary imbalance. It is not common sense to tailor everything to the generation that will carry on, because their Faith is joined at the hip with the Fathers. This dynamic should be celebrated and honored. My experience is that the young people find inspiration in this, and the older folks feel appreciated, valued and useful.
An attention to the Fathers brings a respect to the older ones within a congregation. Age should mean experience, and with experience an ever-expanding bridge to how the saints of the near past understood things: I am writing to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning (1 John 2:13 ~ EHV). When younger believers understand that the Gospel-walk of the near past is not simply dust that has settled, they can be motivated to tap into and assimilate the best into their walks. This helps to make the Faith very relevant to the young, and helps them avoid feeling like "Church people are playing a game".
Scripture quotations marked EHV are from the Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version® (EHV®) © 2019 Wartburg Project, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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