Senior Citizens can be an enormous blessing to the local Church. Personally, I have been blessed to have worked with some very wonderful senior saints through the years. While working with them I have discovered there are two very different perspectives among the group.
One group of seniors I label as “experienced.” These people have seen their share of life. They have experienced pain, joy, loss, victory and a lifetime of stories. They then take these experiences and use them to have an impact on the present and even the future. Through the years they have gained perspective and knowledge that allows them to think clearly in almost any situation. These people are a great joy because they want to make an impact with their life in their present situation.
The other group of seniors I label as “nostalgic.” Nostalgia is defined as a longing or affection for the past. This group also has a lifetime of stories and experiences to share. But they share those stories with great longing for us to return. As if life would be much better if we just ignored the present and went back to another time and place in history. These people can be a great cause of frustration because they don’t care much for the present and really don’t seem to think anything about the future.
I appreciate both groups of people but as a Church leader I would rather have ten people willing to use their experience than an a hundred people filled with nostalgia. The Church is always moving into the future with a new group of people growing up who need to know the gospel. We need help right now to share the message of Jesus with people in a way they understand. Today might just be the day of salvation for someone.
The truth is this: We can never reclaim the past. We can only use it to teach us how to be a better Church today.