Having A Passion For: Multi-generational fellowship

19 Jul

I want to make it very clear that the intended audience to whom I am writing is college students.  However, while I am intending to write to college students, what I am going to write may also have implications for others.

During my time in college, I came to a realization that I think is a widespread problem within the body of Christ, and specifically with regard to young people and students.  This problem can be summed up in the phrase, “Generation-driven fellowship.”  What I mean by this is that we tend to gravitate towards those who are like us, whether it be according to race, gender, personality or, in this case, age.  I’ve heard college students complain that their church does not have much (oftentimes relating to small groups or Bible studies) for people their age.  Worse yet, I’ve heard college students, who faithfully attend or belong to a specific local church, say that they hardly know anyone in their congregation (besides college students that is).  Because of this, college students and young adults tend to hang out together, to the exclusion of the rest of the believers with whom they gather together to worship our God.

My heart breaks at the thought that college students and young adults seem so disconnected from the rest of the body of Christ.  Yet, at the same time, a sense of frustration also stirs within me.  The reason is that this is, in my opinion, an unhealthy thing.  I believe the body of Christ was and is meant to be diverse, including age.  There is much rich fellowship to be gained from those who are older and more seasoned in ministry.  Those who have followed the Lord for more years that we (as college students) have lived have much advice and wisdom to pass on.  Mentoring and discipleship can flourish through multi-generational fellowshipping.

Yet, there has to be proactive people willing to make this a priority. College students, are you willing to leave your generational bubble to pursue relationships with those who are 30, 40, 50 and, dare I say, 60+?  Do you see the potential for rich theological discussion, accountability, mentoring and love that can be conveyed by older saints to you, as well as the encouragement and support you can bring them?  I think there is a great need for such fellowship, and I think that the picture of God’s people that such fellowship can bring could be a powerful witness to the unbelieving world of the love shared by God’s children.

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