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The Problem of Age Segregation In Churches

The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair. (Proverbs 20:29)

I'm concerned about segregation in churches.

No, I'm not speaking of racial segregation. That is a problem and it is one we should continue to fight to change. I'm talking about age segregation. In many churches you have very well defined age groups that sit together, converse with each other after services, and interact with each other outside of services.

More troubling than this are churches which have traditional and contemporary worship services. Whether you think it is expedient to have such an arrangement to begin with, it is without question a way of segregating the church even more by age. The most disturbing trend I have seen is for new churches started by younger people, which seem to cater more to the younger crowd.

There can be legitimate reasons to have special classes for the young or aged and it is not wrong to associate more with people your own age. However, if we look around us and only see people just like us we are not functioning as the body of Christ. The body of Christ is diverse, and God has arranged it this way intentionally (see Rom 12; 1 Cor 12; Eph 4 for further study on this).

My exhortation is this: embrace the unique talents of people who are not like you. It's not easy to relate to people who are different. It's easier to just work with people who are like us. But we're missing out on many blessings when we separate ourselves out.

Father, thank you for the diverse Body of which we are all members. Help us to embrace differences, not run from them. Give us patience to work with and ultimately learn from each other.