What if you could correlate stages of faith with stages of life It would be broken down something like this:
Child / teen / young adult – FAITH
a. Faith like a child
b. Mission, wildfire
c. Nothing but faith
d. Easily able to go and serve
Young adult / family / mid aged – TRUST
a. Holding on
b. Getting through life
c. Growing in faith and decisions to trust god with our lives
d. Raising kids – trust God in hard and easy times.
e. Sticking together in trust as a married couple.
f. Trusting God that is using you no matter where you are.
g. Getting through everyday stuff – homes, jobs, money, planning, schedules, etc.
Older adult – BELIEVE
a. You’ve experienced both
b. And after all that – you believe.
c. You believe in God
d. May not have physical energy or ability to go and actively serve, but live where the action is – through prayer & belief
e. You get behind those who are going – and through your belief (and prayer for them) lives are changed!
Here are six thoughts about this concept:
1) I observe some of this in my life. There are those younger than me who are pressing me to have a childlike, simple faith. There are those older than me who inspire me to believe – and I take their word for it, based on their experiences, their lives and their unwavering faith in God. And there are those around me – my age – who are trusting, even in life’s toughest challenges, they’re holding on.
2) Of course, all these are general age categories and any one could be at any of these stages.
3) It’s another implication for the need of intergenerational worship and leadership in the church. We need to experience all of these.
4) The concept also helps me as I invite people to join in the work of ministry. We need everyone to make it work.
5) God calls each of us to some aspect of each of these. So many places in scripture Jesus asked about the disciples faith. Proverb 3:5-6 we’re invited to Trust in the Lord with all of our heart. And in John, Jesus says, the work of God is this, to Believe in the one he sent!
6) We can take heart in where we are in life – don’t look down on young ones because of their fresh faith! It will overcome! Aid the ones in the Trust category – helping them through life will build their trust in Christ. Don’t ever mistake basic believing for not doing anything. Encourage the saints to be prayerful, belief filled and for their lives to encourage the younger generations.