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Are You a Patriarch/Matriarch or Just Oldby Duane Mabee on June 13, 2019
“Patriarchs [Matriarchs] invest their wisdom and experience in the next generation for a time the patriarch will never see. If you aren’t doing that, you’re probably just an old person.”
Regardless of how old you are, let that sink in. If you are not intentionally passing on your wisdom, knowledge, and skills to other people, you may be just growing old. If you are not investing in the development and deployment of those who will outlive you, you are becoming irrelevant. All of us will get older, if we keep breathing, but we do not have to become irrelevant.
Believe it or not, people all around you are hungry for the input of a modern-day sage. While they don’t want to be forced into your mold, they want to learn from your wisdom and experience. Sure, they will take what you pass on and reshape it so that it fits their generation and their culture, but that’s what they should do. It’s what you did.
The church will only thrive when believers with wisdom, experience and skill pass those things on to the generations that follow them. Godly men and women must actively invest in those who will live and lead in a time that we will never see. That’s why Paul instructed Timothy “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men [and women] who will be able to teach others also,” (2 Tim 2:1-2 ESV).
But, be honest. Doing that is hard work. It isn’t comfortable. We have to overcome differences. We have to allow people to do things in ways that don’t match our preferences. We have to give up our demand that everything be “the way I like it”. But here’s something else we need to ponder. A vibrant, healthy church will never exist where Christians have decided that their comfort and preferences are more important than doing God’s will. It is God’s will that we disciple the next generations and help the church succeed long after we’re gone.
Church, are we just growing old or are we actively investing our wisdom, knowledge, and skills in younger people so that they can effectively influence a time we will never live to see? Who are you investing in and how? If you’re not, who could you invest in and how?