Signs of a Failing Civilization
Juanita and I heard a commercial on the radio yesterday that bothered us. Most commercials are just white noise, but we picked up on the basic idea of this ad (I’ll try to listen more carefully next time so I can avoid this company). The outfit was selling gaming equipment – pool tables and the like. The actors were happy to have a pool table and said something like, “Finally, something to get us away from Grandpa’s stories.”
Seniors are tedious. They are a waste of space and time. If we can only find something important to do like, say, playing foosball, instead of taking time with Grandpa, then our lives will have more meaning.
I have been thinking about this ad today. Are our churches much better? Do we care that many of our seniors are just as “non-Christian” as the young parents in our community? Do we notice that unlike many of our “target demographic,” many seniors have abundant spare time to teach, listen, serve and pray? Do we care that the wholesale reinvention of evangelical worship services has pushed many faithful older saints to the back row?
The whole area of seniors ministry was one of the areas of need that our board identified at a board retreat a couple of years ago. What have we done? We’ve brought it up at meetings a couple of times. Is our church a model for others to follow? Nope. Not yet, anyway.
Commercials that mock our pioneers are in very bad taste, but perhaps they are reflecting rather widespread biases against the elderly, biases that have crossed over into the church.