Yet for love’s sake I rather beseech thee, being such a one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.
Paul has had an amazing ministry by the time he gets to this “aged” place in his life. We look back through the Scriptures and read of the work accomplished by this faithful servant of Christ. He is now in a perfect position to exhort the young preachers coming behind him. It is probably true that he cannot maintain the exhaustive efforts of years gone by, but he doesn’t have to with so many young preachers now hanging on to his every word. It has been my practice through my ministry to fellowship with older preachers that have gone before me. I have always loved hearing them describe the journey that the Lord has taken them on, and I have learned from their experiences. Oftentimes it has saved me from many pitfalls along the way.
There seems to be a feeling among a few young preachers today that the “aged” should be set aside. That they have somehow outlived their usefulness and are not worthy of the support of the Lord’s people. I say that the very opposite is true. If we ever needed the “aged,” it is in these years. In some ways, they can help us more than ever before. The experiences that they have had, the lessons that they have learned, the battles that they have fought, all of these things and more make them the most qualified people that we have in the ministry today. Instead of setting them aside we should give them a raise in pay. They are worth far more to us now!
To those of you that have plowed a straight furrow year after year: don’t quit now when we need you desperately. I challenge you, young preachers, to hang around these faithful servants and listen more than you speak. You will probably find that the education you get will surpass anything that you got in school.
If you are among the “aged,” and you are feeling the pinch of lost support, I will do anything that I can to help you remain in the Lord’s work if that is what you believe He wants you to do. If the Lord should lead you to retire from your present work, that is between you and Him, and it is honorable. If you believe He wants you to stay in the harness, then that also is honorable.
In His Service,
Danny A. Whetstone
If this article has been an encouragement to you, you can email Bro. Whetstone here to let him know.