All Ages, All Stages
Gather all the people—the elders, the children, and even the babies. Call the bridegroom from his quarters and the bride from her private room (v.16).
We need all ages to help make our faith grow. So say Dr. Kara Powell and Dr. Chap Clark. They came to this conclusion as they worked on the College Transition Project—a 6-year research project focused on the spiritual thriving or diving of high school graduates as they moved on to college. The good doctors have recently released Sticky Faith, a book that details—among other things—the need for teenage students to engage in inter-generational activities with older believers. The book reveals that students’ interaction with more mature Christians helps them foster a strong and sticky faith—one that will carry them through the spiritually challenging college years.Woven throughout the pages of Scripture we find God encouraging the communication of His Word from one generation to the next.
During the time of the prophet Joel, the people of Jerusalem and Judah were dealing with an intense plague of locusts. The things with wings were devouring their food and their hope! (Joel 1:4). God said, “Gather all the people—the elders, the children, and even the babies” (2:16). The purpose? So they could pray to God in repentance (v.17)—drawing close to Him once again. This proclaiming of truth in an intergenerational community was lived out in the New Testament church as well (Acts 2:17,46-47, 4:32-35). Today, interaction between Christians of all ages allows for a healthier overall community of believers and the spiritual maturation of each individual. As the psalmist states, “Let each generation tell its children of Your mighty acts; let them proclaim Your power” (Psalm 145:4).If you’re a young adult, spend time with those who are older in years and more mature in faith. Seek their mentoring and wisdom. If you’re older, reach out to those who are younger. Share in their passion and enthusiasm. Faith grows when we come together.