He asked how old our dog was and when Tracey said she was only two he said that he was asking because he couldn’t guess her age because;
‘She looks young and old at the same time’.
As we walked along I began to ponder these words and it occurred to me that they are a good description of a healthy church.
Old enough to have experience, wisdom and maturity in faith but young enough to have enthusiasm, childlike faith and an openness to risk taking.
Do churches gravitate towards being respectable and places that are safe? Do we want to think about or try to apply the teaching of Jesus about ‘becoming like little children’ as we follow him?
Perhaps it is the opposite and the church you are a part of has no rules or structure and anything goes? Churches can also gravitate towards immaturity as being a stage of life to stay in when the Bible encourages us to grow in faith.
As I pondered some more it occurred to me that the words were also a description of healthy faith.
Old enough to have experienced God at work and to have learnt along the way but young enough to be curious and to realize that there is always more growing to do.
Some Christians seem to project a sense of them having arrived or that they have grown well enough in their faith. It’ s also easy when we have been Christians a long time to settle for where we are and to try to live a comfortable life of faith that doesn’t mean and great change is required.
It can be the opposite though with some people clinging to immaturity of faith as an excuse not to pursue growth in faith or holiness. For others faith is only about feelings and there is a resistance to learn who God is and what he wants because we just want him to make us feel good.
Where are you? Where is the church you are a part of? Are you young or old or hopefully both?
My prayer for the church and for your faith is that you would be really young and old at the same time.
- Would you describe your faith as being young or old?
If it is at one extreme or the other, what can you do to restore the balance?
- Would you describe your church as being young or old in faith?
If it is at one extreme or the other, what could you do together to restore the balance?