Time To Go

March 25, 2017
by William Hamblen

Recently, the owner of a large orchard started to remove old apple trees that had been bearing fruit for many years. The old trees were in bad shape from over fifty years of bearing fruit. The owner realized that the yield was down and the fruit was of poor quality.

He decided to remove all of the old trees and plant new ones. The new ones were smaller in size but produced fruit that was superior. Four trees could be planted in the space that one tree previously occupied.

In our churches today, do we have individuals who have been doing the same task to the best of their ability year after year? As an 82-year-old person, I'm wondering whether it is time for some to step aside and permit younger members with new ideas to come in.

1 Timothy 4:12 – Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. (NIV)

I don't suggest a 100-percent turnover. But is your church possibly ready for 50 percent of new people on your committees? It is so important that the older, replaced members do not feel discarded, but still have an important role to play in the church.

This same owner donated a root of one of the older trees to a woodworker, who produced a beautiful bowl from it.

Likewise, the older members should be commemorated for their devotion, service, and strength as they assist new members in their role.

Prayer: O Lord, we live in a world of change. Help us to remember that we can expect changes as we go through life. In all of the changes that will happen, enable us to have love for all people, today and forevermore. Amen.

About the author:

William Hamblen <whamblen@cogeco.ca>
Brockville, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good thoughts William.


    What good advice from a wise senior!


    Perfectly put! Thank you, William Hamblen.


    Beautifully expressed! And thank you for the good prayer.


    Real food for thought and challenge in this one William. Thank you.


    William, thank you for using God’s creation in your devotional. Your
    analogy is quite an eye opener and wonderfully written,
    (QC)


    Your comment is interesting but another side is that some older people resent change. We have a young married couple as pastors and we have had some leave as their ways
    differed. Yet we are all Christians!
    Our work for the Lord is done through the holy spirit willingly and any earthly recognition motivates us to remain faithful.


    Amen brother (BUT) let us take a good look around —say at the numbers in the Sunday School!
    I can remember the time when churches were erecting addition to accommodate the numbers scrambling to get in! (Take a good look at it now)!!
    As for the apple orchard — they are being uprooted and the producing fields are filled with Houses!


    I think we are thinking some of the same things about our churches. We are a small city with lots of churches, no mega churches here and is the most ultra conservative place I have ever lived. So I strongly expect that means that they, for the most part, still maintain the older people as the leaders. Most of the leaders had been holding their positions for many years. Gradually younger families began to leave. I was there as I had moved to live with my daughter and felt it was important to be with her.
    We now have a new young pastor, does numerous things differently, but always preaches the gospel. Families are returning, and one by one, very young families are coming and are being warmly and lovingly accepted by the older folks. I am extremely happy to see the growth and the Joy of the Lord overflowing!!
    (Calif.)


    Right on. If we older ones… hang on till the end and have no one trained to take our place… disaster.


    Thank you, William, for sharing this perspective on “passing the torch to a new generation,” as JFK said in his speech. Sadly, this is easier said than done. My two cents. Blessings.


    Dear Mr. Hamblen,
    Thank you for the devotional.
    I don’t suggest a 100-percent turnover. But is your church possibly ready for 50 percent of new people on your committees? It is so important that the older, replaced members do not feel discarded, but still have an important role to play in the church.
    The experienced can have some valuable advice for the younger.
    Keep writing.

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