by Andy Hammond, Pastor of Worship & Media

Recently, during a student choir rehearsal at Hernando Baptist (we call it Center Street Creative Arts), we handed out a brief “quiz” to evaluate our students’ knowledge about worship, theology, and music.  One of the questions asked for the students' thoughts about the benefits of worshipping with senior adults at church.

The responses we got made us laugh and made us think.  Here are a few:

1.) "We can learn from their experience."

No matter how many books and blogs you read, there are some things you can never really know until you have lived a certain amount of time.  Through both successes and failures, senior adults have walked the road of life and can help students navigate certain decisions because they’ve been there before.

2.) "They know the Bible better than us."

Walking in a growing relationship with Christ for decades means decades worth of Bible reading and study.  Many senior adults are a deep well of Scripture.  If Scripture guides our decision-making, how beneficial is it to know and interact with those who know the Bible better than we do!

3.) "Hard candies."

This one made me laugh.  (Cinnamon discs are my personal favorite.)

4.) "They give us someone to look up to."

Students are looking for examples of Gospel-faithfulness and Christ-likeness in the senior adult generation.  Is it really possible, is it really worth it, to pursue Christ for a lifetime?  

Students aren’t looking for someone perfect or someone “cool”—they are looking for someone joyful, authentic, and loving who can smile and say through years of tested faith—“YES, Christ is worth everything and He is faithful."

5.) "They can teach us how to pray."

Did you know they were listening?

6.) "They smell nice."

Not sure if this says more about the senior adults, or everyone else who apparently doesn’t smell as nice.

7.) "We can worship together and not separate ourselves."

Did you catch the way this student phrased it?  "We can worship together and not separate ourselves."

"Separating" means taking something unified and breaking it apart.  As a church, we are one body united by Christ through the Gospel (Romans 12:5).  When we have corporate worship together instead of separating ourselves, we are making a statement that our unity is not based on common age or common preference, but common faith.  Jesus is the glue that holds us together, not something else.  God is glorified in that!

So what can we take away from a survey like this?

  1. Students are smart and perceptive, and they are watching and listening at church.  What does your interaction with them look like on Sundays?
  2. Senior adults, we need you. Take time to pour into a student one on one (we’d love to help you get this set up!).  Model the joy of the Christ in all that you do and show them what following Jesus as an older adult looks like.
  3. Why not put a few extra pieces of candy in your pocket this Sunday?

Students and senior adults: together is better.