Summary: Sermon preached at the Peebles Church of Christ based on a church-wide survey taken of young people and older people.
It was a total disaster. The contractor could not believe what had just happened. He sat in stunned silence gazing over the blueprints of the construction site. All he could think about was the money invested and lost; the time and effort that had been put into the project. And now… everything was over. All the workers had left.
You may wonder what happened. Had forces of nature wrecked the construction site and ended the work? Did the workers form a union and refuse to work unless they were paid more money? Did they run out of resources and were not able to finish the project? The answer is “no” to all of these questions.
The reason the work stopped is because there was a breakdown in communication. The workers could not understand each other and since they could not understand each other, the work came to a screeching halt. Most of us are familiar with this story. You’ve probably heard it many times. We refer to it as the story of the Tower of Babel.
In Genesis 11 the people began a project to make a name for themselves. They wanted to build a tower to the heavens. I think it is humorous that Genesis 11:5 tells us that as the people were building this great project the Lord had to come down just to see it.
It is at this time that God confuses the languages and scatters the people over the earth. God had said, “Nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them” if they were working together. So God takes away communication and their effort fails.
There is an obvious lesson for us to learn today. If we are not communicating clearly, we will not be successful.
Psychologists teach that the most critical element to a good relationship is communication.
A good definition of communication is the transferring of information so it can be understood.
The church is God’s chosen people who are to communicate God’s message to the world. Therefore, in the church we have a constant struggle to make sure good communication is taking place, both outside and inside the church.
The church is most effective when all of her members communicate clearly with one another.
It is a daunting task when we consider how many different people there are in the church. But tonight we want to focus in on age groups. I want us to ask how the adults and the young people are doing in their communication with one another.
Last week we took a survey during the Sunday School hour. “A Wish List” was handed to the adults. It simply said, “I wish the young people…” The adults were not to sign their names, only to indicate their age. Adults in their 20’s all the way up to adults in their 80’s took time to respond to this survey. It was insightful the responses we received.
We also went to the young people’s rooms and gave them “A Wish List.” It simply said, “I with the adults…” The responses we received from them were very interesting.
Now some of the kids acted like kids. A 10 year old wrote, “I wish the adults would give us tacos.” Maybe that child was hungry. A 9 year old wrote, “I wish the adults wouldn’t care about carbs and fat.” Aside from a few remarks like this, the responses that were given showed a depth that I had not anticipated.
Let’s begin with what the adults had to say.
Many of the adults felt that the young people needed to show more…
Here are a few samples. “I wish the young people would respect others and not make fun of them.” A person in their 40’s wrote, “I wish the young people knew how to talk to adults.” An elderly member in their 70’s wrote, “I wish the young people who run (in the church) would show respect to people and to the place.” One last comment, “I wish the young people were more respectful of the church and older members.”
You could get the feeling that this was a “hot” issue with some individuals. But I must agree with them. Young people need to respect their elders. Leviticus 19:32 reads, “Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God.”
The Bible teaches us younger people that we need to respect our elders. The interesting aspect of following this command to respect is that in doing so, we are also respecting God. I want to make sure that I can do everything possible to respect God.
The Bible teaches that we are to give respect to every single person. 1 Peter 2:17 reads, “Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.”