Give Me This Mountain: Encouraging Seniors in Ministry

August 02, 2023

As you teach the Adult Sunday school class or small group in your church, take notice of the senior adults in your group. Are they functioning and active in the ministries of your church? You could be instrumental in helping them stay vigorous in ministry. Ask the seniors of your class to consider Caleb in the Old Testament as a model for courageous faithfulness at any age.


In Numbers 13 and 14, Caleb was forty years old when he and Joshua were the only two faith-filled spies who entered Canaan to scout out the land. These two measured the giants they found against God’s strength, not against their own strength. But because the other ten spies did not have faith, the Israelites wandered in the desert forty years. Of the twelve spies, Joshua and Caleb were the only two still living when the Israelites finally entered the Promised Land.


It is fitting, then, that as they arrived in Canaan forty-five years later and divided the land, Caleb remembered the promise God made to him through Moses, “But my servant Caleb has a different attitude than the others have. He has remained loyal to me, so I will bring him into the land he explored. His descendants will possess their full share of that land” (Numbers 14:24, NLT).


Caleb reminded Joshua of this promise, and said, “Today I am eighty-five years old. I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then. So give me the hill country [Now therefore give me this mountain, KJV] that the LORD promised me. You will remember that as scouts we found the descendants of Anak living there in great, walled towns. But if the LORD is with me, I will drive them out of the land, just as the LORD said” (Joshua 14:10–12, NLT).


Remind your students of Caleb, and bring out these points:


Caleb Wholly Followed the Lord

When the other spies, not including Joshua, came back reporting in fear, and “made the heart of the people melt” (KJV), Caleb remained resolute in his faith. The senior adults you teach can also be resolute, wholly following the Lord in all they do.


Your seniors can lead the way in faithfully studying the Bible, in volunteering for ministries as they are able, in praying for others in the church, and faithfully attending services as they can. Sometimes, their presence will speak loudly to those around them that they are wholly following God.


Caleb’s Descendants Were Blessed by His Dedication to God

As we’ve seen in several biblical examples, when a family patriarch leads well, all of the family is blessed. Encourage the seniors of your group to remember that they are paving the way to a steadfast, blessed life for others to follow. Of course, the free will of the offspring can play a part, but a good example speaks loudly. And even if seniors don’t have biological children, they can be spiritual parents to many.


Caleb Remained Strong

Caleb was eighty-five years old when he declared, “I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then” (Joshua 14:11, NLT). Seniors can recognize that their life experiences have contributed to making them strong. As they depend on God, He will assist them.


Caleb’s Courage Did Not Wane

When he is remembering God’s promise, he also remembers that the descendants of Anak are living in the hill country, in “great, walled towns.” But Caleb recognizes this, “But the LORD is with me, I will drive them out of the land, just as the LORD said” (verse 12).


Caleb could have asked for an easier place, but he was not afraid to continue fighting the strong enemies of the land—the Anakim. He knew they needed to be expelled from the land in order for the Israelites to fully possess it and decided he would be the one to take on that task. Caleb also knew that God would give him victory as He had done before.


What promises has God made to the seniors of your church? You can be instrumental in reminding them of the promises God has made to be with them, to support them and surround them, as they continue working and serving Him. God will reward those who remember His promises and believe that He will do what He said.


Remind your seniors that their families are depending on them to be wholly committed to God and to be faithful in His work. Any successful person has wholly given himself to the field where his or her success lies, whether it be a sport, a business venture, an education degree, or another pursuit. Why can we not be successful in pursuing God? Even if the seniors you lead cannot be strong physically, others can glean much from their strong faith and example.


Courage is not affected by age or physical ability, but by maintaining a strength of spirit and faith. Your seniors can find ways to share their faith, their experiences, and their courage as they remain active in the local church.

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