Today was the Annual meeting of the Mount Graham Baptist Association. We are a really small association - six churches total, or in reality, five. One church has not sent any representation to any Association event in the past year, and appear not to be interested in cooperating. All our churches, except one, have a regular attendence of less that 75 people on any given Sunday morning.
I was asked last year to preach for this years meeting. My text was 1 Chronicles 12:32 "Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their kinsmen were at their command." The context of this verse is a listing of people who were pledging loyalty to David as he was preparing to become king in place of Saul. I found it interesting that the sons of Issachar were not fighting men, in the same sense of the others who were listed mentioning their particular skills in battle. Their importance to David was that they were "men who understood the times."
I spent a little over an hour talking to less than 50 people, many who are at minimum late 40's. My wife and I were the only early 40's attending - and were the youngest ones there!!! We learned about differences between the generations, what they expect, how they operate, how to reach people who could care less about Christ, let alone our current form of associating together as churches.
Should be interesting to see what happens as a result. They were introduced to the concept that the older generations will have to do most of the changing before those under 40 will even begin to take notice. One lady (from the church I pastor) said that she loved it when I told all the "gummers" that they were going to have to change!
I did not receive any negative feedback, but several thanked me for showing them that GenXers and Millenials have some potentially positive contributions to make to their churches.
And, on top of that, I was elected Moderator of the Association for the next year. Should be interesting........