Everyone Gets To Play: Young & Old
Rose Swetman explores how all ages and generations are called to participate in the Kingdom of God.
Co-Pastor, Vineyard Community Church, WA
Saying “Yes” To God
From the little boy who shared his lunch that fed over 5000 people, to the woman at the well whose story impacted an entire village, to a young Jewish girl in first century Palestine who said ‘yes’ to God and gave birth to Jesus, we know it’s true: ‘everyone gets to play.’
When we read through the pages of Scripture, we learn quickly that God’s story unfolds throughout human history and is on a trajectory that has a goal: the redemption of the heavens and earth. Within the story, we see over and over again how God invites, commissions, and empowers broken humanity to join with him in bringing forth his eternal purposes. Here are some thoughts about how this is working in the region to which I give oversight.
A few weeks ago, several of our young people spent a weekend at an event called, ‘City Serve.’ They joined with hundreds of young people around the city and served in homeless teen shelters, gardening in community gardens, and the like. They prayed together, worshiped together, and had an amazing time playing in God’s kingdom.
Everyone Has Something To Bring
Yesterday, I had a conversation with an 80-something-year-old woman in our church that listens to so many folks within and beyond our church, and very often in her listening, God sends the one she is listening to a ‘gracelet’ specifically created for that occasion. I could tell you countless stories of people from every life stage that are participating in God’s kingdom work as they go about their everyday lives. Whether it is feeding hungry people, praying for the sick, or working in a community garden, everyone has something to bring to God’s table that will be food for another’s life.
Our worship gatherings are times where we can look for ways to create space for God to send his gracelets through and to his people, by encouraging young and old alike to listen to the Spirit of God and to be postured openly to be conduits of his gracelets. Training all ages how to minister with grace, love, and wisdom is a regular way of fostering a culture that brings heaven to earth. Some have said that the practices of the Vineyard are more ‘caught than taught.’ Creating spaces for people of all ages to continue the ministry of Jesus is how the church of today continues being a vibrant church for tomorrow.
All Generations #every1gets2play
During one of our Northwest region’s bi-annual conferences, our tagline was ‘every1gets2play.’ From the youngest child to the elders among us, everyone had an opportunity to play: children praying for people of all ages, youth serving in a variety of ways throughout the conference, and adults teaching, praying, and singing.
It is a beautiful picture of God’s people when we actively pursue folks in all walks of life to deliver his gracelets and use their talents for the sake of the church and the world.