You’ve probably already answered the question in your mind – he led God’s people out of slavery.
But this morning, I ran across a little detail in Exodus 7:7:
Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh.
Scholars aren’t sure how long he was in Egypt before he began speaking to Pharoah and before the power of the plagues began to happen. But he was eighty years old when he first began demands for freedom.
Scripture always seems to turn effective leadership on it’s head.
Noah was an old man. Mary was a teen. And it was a small boy who was an integral part of the miracle to feed 5,000 people.
And the story of Moses was no less amazing!
If the Israelite nation had assembled an official search committee to locate and secure a leader to free them, they would have looked across the globe. The successful candidate would have probably been someone in their prime of working years with experience in navigating critical leadership issues.
But instead, God sent Moses, who at the time the talks began, was 80 years old, had been a shepherd and didn’t like to talk!
There really is no way to tell what you will be known for, but it could very well be the thing people remember about you as a leader hasn’t even happened yet.
The only way to ensure that you will remain effective is to keep moving in faith and obedience. A person doesn’t retire from faith or God’s call.
It’s no secret the Christian church is getting older quickly. I always hear from church leaders about the congregation being mostly older… and I totally understand the desperation in a church wishing there were “more younger families around”. But according to some stats from the study below particular study, if the older folks in the church don’t radically and sacrificially lead, there won’t be any leaders at all!
Here’s a chart of denominations by age – from 2014 [link to article]
What if God is choosing to use you? Maybe you’re not young anymore, but what if the thing that you are currently doing in your church is the most important task for you yet?
Though we could all list a huge number of excuses, I want everyone I know to be fully invested in kingdom work. There’s no reason 70-year-olds can’t serve in children’s ministry, In fact, it may become what you’re known for. There’s no reason a61-year-old executive can’t start helping to lead a new ministry at church. There’s no reason a newly retired person can’t commit to sharing their faith with the student ministry every week they are in town. When God opens the door with a call, it’s almost always opposite of what we think seems right. If there is a need and you are willing to answer the call, you could be the answer to prayers for changed lives among the next generation.
Like Moses, we may not think we’re the best choice or most gifted to serve. But like God has always shown, those things don’t matter near as much as ongoing faithfulness.
Billy Sunday, a famous old time revival preacher, was quoted saying:
“I’m against sin. I’ll kick it as long as I have a foot. I’ll fight it as long as I have a fist. I’ll butt it as long as I have a head. I’ll bite it as long as I’ve got a tooth. And when I’m old and fistless and footless and toothless, I’ll gum it till I go home to Glory and it goes home to perdition.”
There have been countless people in my life who have been a witness to me in this way. They have been faithful to the end! They have served Jesus through the church and have had a profound impact on my faith. I’ve calculated their age at the time of some of the most significant things they did and have been inspired to realize they didn’t even begin the “thing” they were known for until more than halfway or more through life. I’m grateful for their witness and faithfulness.
Exodus 7:7 is a simple reminder: Moses was 80 when he approached Pharoah. We don’t know the day or hour our life will end.
But we can keep going as long as we can!
I want to be obedient. I want to be willing – until I’m totally expired (as my Granny likes to say) – to walk through the doors God opens, to be faithful to the call, and to serve the church every way possible.
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