8 Reasons I Love “Old” People at Graystone

“Old” is a relative term.  Bill Cosby says that most people think “old” is 15 years older than their current age.  I think it’s funny that Jennifer’s mom refers to the “old folks” living in her active adult community.

When I was a “young pastor” and first started Graystone Church, I didn’t think it was that important to have “old folks” in our church.  Boy was I wrong.  Every church planter/pastor needs “old” people is “his” church.

Here are 8 reasons why I love “old” people at Graystone:

1.  Old people are encouragers.  The people who encourage me the most at Graystone are the “old” people and Julia.  Very few people give me words of encouragement, but I can always count on the “old” folks to say something positive and encouraging.  I’m not sure why this is, but they will go out of their way to say a complimentary word, write a note or send an uplifting email.

2.  Old people are servants.  Some of the greatest servants in the church are people who are retired or empty nesters.  I love to see them humbly investing in the things that last for all eternity. And you know what?  They are fine to serve behind the scenes, so God gets all the glory.

3. Old people are very gracious.  Old people tend to be less critical and extremely gracious to me.  They allow me to make mistakes and be myself.  I’m not sure why this is, but I think the older we get, the more we realize how imperfect we are.  Imperfect people tend to extend more grace to others.  I think “old” people also realize that life is not all about them or their kids.  It’s hard to put this one in words, but “old” people are more gracious and forgiving.

4. Old people are huggers and handshakers.  I’m a hugger, a handshaker and a crier for that matter.  And it means so much to be to get a big ole side hug or a firm handshake on Sunday morning.  “Younger” people are more apt to “like” a picture or status update on Facebook, but I will take a “real life” hug any day of the week.  This is a side note, but social media is completely changing the way we interact with each other.  And it is not all positive.

5. Old people are wise.  There is no way around it.  The only way to gain experience is by experience.    The longer you have lived, the more experienced you are.  And hopefully, you have learned from your experience. If I have a big decision to make, I like to get wisdom from someone who is an expert in their field, or they have more experience than me.  Now, we can learn from our experiences or the experiences of others.

6.  Old people are mentors.  Everyone needs someone to look up to.  And an “old” person can be a spiritual leader and mentor for a “younger” person.  It is so neat for me to see “older” women being spiritual mothers to our “younger” women.  And our “older” men discipling our “younger” men.

7.  Old people can reach other old people.  Our goal is to DOMINATE our community with the love of Jesus Christ.  Last time I checked, we have a bunch of “old” people living in our community.  God wants to use “old” people to reach their peers.  Like attracts like.  It is much easier for a Sigma Chi fraternity brother to reach another Sigma Chi fraternity brother.  It is much easier for a UGA Football Player to reach another UGA Football Player.  We typically relate best with people who are 5 years within our age.  God is using “old” people to reach other “old” people.

8.  Old people are committed to the vision.  “Old” people do not come to Graystone because of the loud music.  They do not come to Graystone because of the Children’s Ministry or the Student Ministry.  And they probably do not come to Graystone because of the preaching.  They come to Graystone because they are committed to the vision.  They see that we are committed to reaching our community with the love of Jesus, and they want to be a part of it.  Honestly, many of them try to come up with excuses for not coming to Graystone, but God has called them here to help us reach our vision.  And this is probably the #1 reason I love “old” people at Graystone.  They are not here to have their needs met.  They are here to serve God and build His kingdom!

THANK YOU “OLD” PEOPLE!!!

If you are offended by this blog because you think I am calling you “old”, I am not.  I am referring to the people who are 15 years older than you.  If you are encouraged by this blog, then I am talking about you… whether Joelan thinks you’re “old”, or Jennifer’s mom thinks you’re “old”.

What are your thoughts?  Would you add any reasons to the list?

Categories: Graystone Church, Random

7 replies »

  1. I am proud to be put in that category. I think that I am at least 15 years older than Joelan! I really like your post (guess that covers #1). Thanks for making us feel involved, appreciated and giving us a sense of belonging. Plus hanging out at Graystone makes us ‘old’ people feel a whole lot younger!

  2. I love how these folks are genuinely happy to chat, have sweet smiles, and bonus, they brag on my kids, who doesn’t love that?! Mrs. Curry and Mrs. Dudish are the 2 ladies who popped in my head when I read this post. And of course D.R. up there above! But she is not 15 yrs older than me, plus if I ever called her “old”, well I think I might have some trouble on my hands! :)

    Great post Jonathan.

  3. Psalm 92:12-15
    “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; To shew that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.”

  4. As one of the original “old” people, thanks for the post! Miss everyone and pray for continued blessings. Serving at Graystone made me feel young and part of Gog’s exciting plan! Love y’all!

  5. Jonathan, I ran across this today and thought of you. I know you get lots of emails some good/some bad, but I just wanted to say thank you for being such a great pastor/inspiration to me.
    HOLY HUMOUR

    **A father was approached by his small son who told him proudly, “I know what the Bible means!”
    His father smiled and replied, “What do you mean, you ‘know’ what the Bible means?
    The son replied, “I do know!”
    “Okay,” said his father. “What does the Bible mean?”
    “That’s easy, Daddy…” the young boy replied excitedly,” It stands for ‘Basic Information Before Leaving Earth.’ (This one is my favorite)
    =======

    There was a very gracious lady who was mailing an old family Bible to her brother in another part of the country.
    “Is there anything breakable in here?” asked the postal clerk.
    “Only the Ten Commandments.” answered the lady.

    ========
    “Somebody has said there are only two kinds of people in the world. There are those who wake up in the morning and say, “Good morning, Lord,” and there are those who wake up in the morning and say, “Good Lord, it’s morning.”

    ========
    A minister parked his car in a no-parking zone in a large city because he was short of time and couldn’t find a space with a meter.
    Then he put a note under the windshield wiper that read: “I have circled the block 10 times. If I don’t park here, I’ll miss my appointment. Forgive us our trespasses.”
    When he returned, he found a citation from a police officer along with this note “I’ve circled this block for 10 years. If I don’t give you a ticket I’ll lose my job. Lead us not into temptation.”

    ========
    There is the story of a pastor who got up one Sunday and announced to his congregation: “I have good news and bad news. The good news is, we have enough money to pay for our new building program. The bad news is, it’s still out there in your pockets.”

    ========
    While driving in Pennsylvania , a family caught up to an Amish carriage. The owner of the carriage obviously had a sense of humor, because attached to the back of the carriage was a hand printed sign… “Energy efficient vehicle: Runs on oats and grass. Caution: Do not step in exhaust.”

    ========
    A Sunday School teacher began her lesson with a question, “Boys and girls, what do we know about God?”
    A hand shot up in the air. “He is an artist!” said the kindergarten boy.
    “Really? How do you know?” the teacher asked..
    “You know – Our Father, who does art in Heaven… ”

    ========
    A minister waited in line to have his car filled with gas just before a long holiday weekend. The attendant worked quickly, but there were many cars ahead of him. Finally, the attendant motioned him toward a vacant pump.
    “Reverend,” said the young man, “I’m so sorry about the delay. It seems as if everyone waits until the last minute to get ready for a long trip.”
    The minister chuckled, “I know what you mean. It’s the same in my business.”

    ========
    People want the front of the bus, the back of the church, and the center of attention.

    ========
    Sunday after church, a Mom asked her very young daughter what the lesson was about..
    The daughter answered, “Don’t be scared, you’ll get your quilt.”
    Needless to say, the Mom was perplexed. Later in the day, the pastor stopped by for tea and the Mom asked him what that morning’s Sunday school lesson was about.
    He said “Be not afraid, thy comforter is coming.”

    ========

    The minister was preoccupied with thoughts of how he was going to ask the congregation to come up with more money than they were expecting for repairs to the church building. Therefore, he was annoyed to find that the regular organist was sick and a substitute had been brought in at the last minute. The substitute wanted to know what to play.
    “Here’s a copy of the service,” he said impatiently. “But, you’ll have to think of something to play after I make the announcement about the finances.”
    During the service, the minister paused and said, “Brothers and Sisters, we are in great difficulty; the roof repairs cost twice as much as we expected and we need $4,000 more. Any of you who can pledge $100 or more, please stand up.”
    At that moment, the substitute organist played “The Star Spangled Banner.”
    And that is how the substitute became the regular organist!

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