Continuing to look at the way we could form and keep an ecclesia we refer again to an early twentieth century writing of Frank Jannaway. At that time the ecclesiae could flourish, but today in the time of Covid-19 we can only notice how a lot of our members are elderly people. Some find the generation of Boomers is not discipling the next generation as well as previous generations did for us. And they could have good reason to think that, the same as those who say the Boomers spoiled their children too much.
Though our brotherhood like several other churches seems to have only people older than 80 leading the church whilst the Boomer generation does not come forward enough to be leaders of the community. (Our Belgian ecclesia is one of the few exceptions where a Boomer is doing most of the work.) But we should also go a step further, into the next generation which should come forward to take up their duties in the Body of Christ. We are looking forward to Generation X taking over from us, or at least coming to help us to sort out the working of the ecclesia. In many countries, the Corona pandemic took away lots of elderly people who took care of the church community.
The choice to delay home ownership, parenthood, is something we advised them to do, being a strategically intelligent move in an environment that has been marked by unforeseen volatile global events in the decades following the 90’s. It’s for them also a good way to save for a better and more secure start. The Millennial generation, who has been better educated than previous generations, has good reasons to be more skeptical of long held beliefs around what makes a good life or what makes a person successful, but too often we see that they do not take charge of things. Certainly, on the level of faith, we are missing guys who come forward to help to build the ecclesia, which at the moment has not enough young blood.
A Pentecostal writes:
Boomers, It’s Time to Become Elders
If you, like me, are a Christian and a Boomer (born between 1946 and 1964) you need to know that our primary mission at this stage of our lives is to become the elders and equippers that every generation of the church always needs.
Instead, too many of us stand back, cross our arms and complain that Millennials are entitled, they’re lazy, they’re loud, they’re (insert your complaint here…on second thought, don’t).
We notice that in many households the Millennial Generation is still at home with their parents. Though they were taken care of a lot they seem to complain a lot, and certainly in this period they even dare to say they are limited in their freedom and they loose part of their life. (?!?) Problem with that generation is that many of htem count everything in money,. It seems difficult for them to have some one working for some organisatio withouth being paid for it. Though in our chuch nobody is being payed for the work they do. We count on volutary work. Lots of time is spend in the office and today we do not seem to see many positive results of it. The working of an ecclesia costing a lot of monney though not much money coming in. As elder or pastor as a pastor, we can try to keep everything going, as a minister seeking to use the time well and live a life that is above reproach whilst we see the more commercial churches having enough youngsters coming to their church and giving money to it.
“One is your master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren” (Matt, xxiii. 8).
That proposition of the Master absolutely excludes lordship over God’s heritage by any one, or more, in the Church (Ecclesia); but it does not mean the Brotherhood is to be without “leaders“.
An Ecclesia without leaders is like what an army would be which had a Commander-in-Chief but no officers. Note those who object to leaders or rulers in the Truth; failures and rejects! Or novices, with an inexperienced zeal for “liberty, fraternity, and equality”. We know one such, who ultimately became a presiding brother. In a circular he referred to himself and colleagues as “your leading brethren”!
A shepherd who can’t lead, or doesn’t lead, should be given less responsible work.”Apt to teach” (1 Tim. iii. 2; 2 Tim. ii. 24), means one who can lead in acquiring knowledge.
To those who object to all rule in the Ecclesia, we say, See 1 Tim. iii. 5; v. 17; Heb. xiii. 7, 17.
F. G. J.
“ But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your teacher, and all ye are brethren.” (Mt 23:8 ASV)
“ The bishop therefore must be without reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, orderly, given to hospitality, apt to teach;” (1Ti 3:2 ASV)
“ And the Lord’s servant must not strive, but be gentle towards all, apt to teach, forbearing,” (2Ti 2:24 ASV)
“ (but if a man knoweth not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)” (1Ti 3:5 ASV)
“ Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and in teaching.” (1Ti 5:17 ASV)
“ Remember them that had the rule over you, men that spake unto you the word of God; and considering the issue of their life, imitate their faith.” (Heb 13:7 ASV)
“ Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit to them: for they watch in behalf of your souls, as they that shall give account; that they may do this with joy, and not with grief: for this were unprofitable for you.” (Heb 13:17 ASV)
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