Summary: There is unfortunately much ageism in the Body. When I was young, I had to point to Timothy. Now I have to point to Paul the aged in a time when 27 right out of seminary is ideal, but no one over 50 is considered.
12 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;
15 To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. KJV
Philemon 1:9 Yet for love's sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.
Sadly, there is a great deal of age discrimination in the American Church. Most everything is geared around age and churches are even advertising saying that only pastors under 50 need apply. Interesting since another term for pastor is elder and the older are to teach the younger, but only if they are under 50. I have even heard of some churches that run their elderly off. Now, that is Christian love and following biblical principles in an odd way.
Our Sunday Schools are so divided it is crazy because the same Bible cannot be taught to a group of adults because the young do not want to sit with OLD people, Yes, there are some older who feel the same way about the young, but are we to minister in a Biblical way or cater to culture and enable the not so smart? Then we have numerous subgroups even among age groups. The Bible was not designed to be taught that way.
Nehemiah 8:1 And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel.
2 And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.
3 And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.
Indeed, we are creating peer group reliance and that is what got Rehoboam into trouble splitting the Kingdom. (1 Kings 12:6-15) Now we have it splitting the Body.
When I graduated college at 30, it was the other way around. You had to be 35-50 with at least 15 years experience, which really meant you had to be at least 50 for how was a 20 year to get 15 years experience when everyone wanted you to be at least 35. A Catch-22 if there ever was one. I must have slept through the perfect year or something I was too young then and too old now. ;-)
Spiritual maturity is what is supposed to be taken into account, not age. Timothy pastored the Church at Ephesus when he was 21 in a day when men were not considered mature enough to serve on the Sanhedrin until they were at least 30 and had to be married. Yet, most of the ones picked to be elders were older hence the title of elder. I was always taught to respect my elders and seek their advice so the word still carries the thought of some maturity though what the age of an elder might be is not clear since someone 80 or above would be an elder to me and anyone 50 and under would consider me an elder.
I have a suggestion for my hale and hearty “seasoned” saints. Why not do missions by retiring overseas? There are still a few countries where the older folks are held in esteem and many would be cheaper to live than here in the States. If the young will have no truck with you here then go where they will value your wisdom and expertise.
I know if I were able I would be hightailing it to an Asian country, The Filipinos in a previous church always showed me more love and respect than any other people group. I did not know how to handle that at first, but it was wonderful when I accepted it from them in the love it was given. In Thailand, my weight was not a problem as they called me term meaning baby fat. It was a term of affection.
If you are relatively healthy, contact a mission board and they can tell you where you can get more bang for your buck and be a missionary to boot. Why stay here pushed to the side with your gifts unused and you wisdom unappreciated? Family? Shoot, you will give them an excellent vacation spot or a place for your g-kids to do a summer mission trip. They might even appreciate you more when you are not quite as handy and they may even get some new respect that you would sacrifice for Christ, That is something most Western Christians need to learn any so be an example. Go bring forth the fruit God wants to give you in your old age. Maranatha!