I get excited when I read Acts 16:1-4 because it gives me a picture of how the older generation in the church is supposed to train up the younger generation. It is thought that Timothy was probably under the age of 30 when Paul decided to take him along on a missionary journey, but through the letters 1 and 2 Timothy, we know that Timothy was truly mentored by this older, wiser leader. Paul even refers to Timothy at one point as his "son," (see 2 Timothy 1:2) – an indication of the closeness of their relationship. As a person who is "younger" in the church, I can't even begin to express the desire on my generation's part to have older adults mentor us and care about our spiritual growth. And while that happens in some instances, there are many situations where it doesn't. The reality is that a mentoring relationship can serve as one of the key ways that God uses to grow us as believers, and I believe that it is the responsibility of every follower of Christ to be caring about someone younger while being cared for by someone older: to pull someone up while being pulled up by someone else. Are you caring for the spiritual maturity of a younger generation? Is your spiritual maturity being cared for by an older generation? Or are you content to be stationary where you are?
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Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.