Now you may think that because I am youth pastor this blog post will be about graduating students. But it is not. While I love speaking with high school students, they aren't always the most encouraging group. The group I spoke with this morning is however, I spoke with a group of individuals 65+.
Every wednesday morning from 1030-noon we have a group of seniors which come together to sing some hymns and hear a message. All the pastors on staff take turns preaching to this group throughout the year. I am always happy to preach but this group really makes it fun.
The first time I got up to preach I was blown away by the fact that the nearest person to my age that week was 50 years older than myself. I didn't know what to say, I thought I should be the one to be sitting and learning from the wisdom of those older than myself. But I got up shared my testimony and then began to preach from it. When I was done, I thought to myself how bad it went. Then everyone started sharing how that impacted them and what they learned from my story. I didn't bomb in their mind, they hadn't heard it all before but they really enjoyed it.
Over the few times I have spoken at Wednesday worship I have been corrected (by a guy who knows more about the Bible than me) I have been encouraged and I have had some good jokes pointed in my direction. But the best part is it is all from love.
By spending an hour every few months with my more mature friends I have begun to learn a lot about christian living, and I have got to hone my craft of preaching more. I never feel nervous in front of this group because even when I preach and things don't go as well as I hoped, the seniors always have a kind word of encouragement, a lot of insight and sometimes they even help me fine tune my thinking for when I teach a similar message in the future.
So I would encourage you, if you ever have the opportunity to speak at your 'Wednesday worship', take the chance and get to know these older people. They will love you, encourage you, pray for you, pray with you and will be good teachers and listeners. And it might surprise you but they will learn from you to (and as a preacher that always feels good).