Letter from the third third

March 2021

Generational Wisdom and Guidance from the 3rd / third of life in our Congregation

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This journal represents the thoughts, wisdom and admonitions of the 3rd third of life generation of the Kirkland Church of Christ of which numbers 53 souls in this generation in 2021. These are the local saints having so journeyed thus far on earth for over 60 years and having their minds set on things above where neither moth nor rust decay. As a local body of Christians following Christ our savior, we are called to build the kingdom and the local body. Paul wrote to the Ephesians with the inspired words of Christ saying in Eph 4:16:

“ From whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” 

Proverbs 16:31 describes this group as a crown of Glory gained in a righteous life. Titus 2:1-6 admonishes that sound doctrine is associated with the older generation training and being examples to the younger generations. Psalms 92:12-14 indicates that even in old age the palm trees/cedars will still produce fruit, they will remain vital and green.

 

There were four questions posed to this generation to consider: 

  1. In respect to all that we have seen in our lives in the Kingdom and in our culture, what is the most difficult challenge the next generations face in remaining faithful to the Lord?

  2. What is NOT being passed down from our generation to the next regarding the Kingdom of God?

  3. If we in the 1/3, 1/3 of life had just ONE thing we would change in the minds/priorities of the younger generations what would it be and why?

  4. In what ways do you think Kirkland has grown and improved as a faithful congregation in the last 5 years? In what ways do you think Kirkland has failed recently that it hasn't in the past? 
     

QUESTION 1 – FAITH CHALLENGES FOR THE NEXT GENERATIONS

 

Immense worldly pressure has been mounting over the past 3 decades against the Church and God’s truth. The next generation is being assaulted by and giving into:

  • Confusion regarding what is truth and what is a lie. Confusion over God’s morality vs social correctness and trends.

  • Personal freedom of choices has risen as a GOD itself that is worshipped and adored by the World. LGBTQ lifestyles, Women’s rights over her body to include abortion, and seeking friendship with the World and tolerating “Christian” beliefs and practices that there is “no authority” for in God’s word. 

  • In our culture, Sin is celebrated, and God’s truth is viewed as radical, extreme and non-tolerant of fellow mankind. The World is trying to celebrate the theme of “enlightenment and ultimate personal freedoms” that rule as opposed to understanding we are but God’s creation of which he is the potter, and we are the clay. 

  • Worldly thinking and liberality in exercising our will over God’s will and authority is seeping into the Church. 

  • As one member of this generation said:

    If I were to choose one thing that the younger generation needs it would be giving them a foundation of the truth, or better yet, the authority found in God’s word particularly in the book of Genesis.  After visiting the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum in Kentucky, we were motivated to begin a class for the young kids. As Ken Ham, the owner of the Ark Encounter, put it- 

 

“Our children are facing cultural “giants” the previous generations could never have imagined.  Secularism, depravity, immorality, and apathy taunt Christians with a barrage of hate and intolerance.  Will our children be equipped to stand strong against these giants or will they be overcome?”

We need to equip them to be strong believers who stand in the face of a world that will challenge, disparage, and seek to eliminate their faith so they will thrive in the face of cultural adversity and emerge as tomorrow’s Christian leaders. 

  • We need to be willing to stand as unique people that are different and have a personal relationship with the Lord. 

Question #2 - What is NOT being passed down from our generation to the next regarding the Kingdom of God?

 

  • God’s inspired word to us today in the OT and NT is REAL. My trip to Israel in the recent past was an eye opener to me to behold the actual locations recorded in God’s word. We need to teach the next generations how to defend God’s truth to combat what is being taught as truth in school because it will impact their decisions and choices.  As Solomon wrote in Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

  • Social media, which may have some advantages but many catastrophic ramifications for the next generations. 

  • Teaching Kid’s the Bible and Parents teaching and praying at home. Kids need to be involved in service to appreciate being selfless and understanding how Jesus “washed the disciples’ feet” is an example of serving.

  • Being bold in our teaching, not worrying about being politically correct. 

  • We need to be teaching more about who God is, what is his character, what is his authority and how do we determine what he is requiring. Teach about doing it God’s way. Learn how to understand God. Keep your conscience pure. And the skill of really listening to other people and don’t always be in a rush. 

 

Question #3 - If we in the 1/3, 1/3 of life had just ONE thing we would change in the minds/priorities of the younger generations what would it be and why?

 

  • After spending time in high schools, if I had it to do over again I would home school. Kids need to be active doing some service, mowing lawns, helping others, be aware of other’s needs.

  • In Acts 20, Paul warns the elders to be careful. We appreciate Kirkland’s elders and understand how we all must be vigilant and always look to God’s truth first.  

  • It is important to know and understand church history to avoid repeating the pit falls of our history.  Brent has done a good job in teach Biblical history and church history.

  • A personal relationship with Jesus is key to Faith.  

  • One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism is essential to understand but there is only one truth. It is easy for the next generation to become neutral and accepting the ecumenical view of many ways to be pleasing to God.  

  • Emphasize how we need to appreciate and spend more time discussing the Spirit and Grace of God. 

  • After seeing the great church division of the 50s and 60s the older members are more cautious.  The younger members may not be aware of the dangers of not adhering to God’s word. Recommends the book “The life and times of Elder John Smith”. Very important to teach history to the younger generation. 

 

Question #4 - In what ways do you think Kirkland has grown and improved as a faithful congregation in the last 5 years? In what ways do you think Kirkland has failed recently that it hasn't in the past?

 

  • The Older generation(s) should focus on building friendships with the younger generation as that is how a family would interact and edify itself. Cross generational friendships are so important.

  • In answer to the last question, it has been wonderful to have Brent and Gail join us and work so tirelessly in evangelizing and hospitality.  I have benefited from his teaching and feel Kirkland is vibrant and sound. 

  • Hospitality has been really valuable. As an example, Jan has provided hospitality to younger generations to pull the generations into a closer bond.    

  • There is very little evangelistic fervor in other congregations.  Significant, personal hospitality is missing in other congregations.  We need to recognize our citizenship is in Heaven. 

  • Kirkland members really love each other. 

  • Kirkland has improved in looking at God’s word with an open mind rather than binding based on tradition rather than God’s word.  

  • Years ago, Kirkland was an easy place to be incognito.  Now you are so welcomed that it forces you to feel like you are a part of the church family.  

  • Commend Brent and Gail for all their efforts and accomplishments for the congregation.  The young members zeal is also very encouraging.