GUEST POST by Jonathan McKee. Jonathan has become a regular guest blogger on this site! He is the author of numerous books including the brand new Candid Confessions of an Imperfect Parent, as well as youth ministry books like Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation. You can find his excellent blog here.
When I hit 40 I didn’t feel very old. I still ran faster than my kids, lifted more and when my son (a black-belt) and when we wrestled, I pinned him in about 30 seconds. But now I’m 41… and everything is going downhill.
It actually didn’t bother me when my youngest beat me running a 5K this year. I was so proud of her time (she kept a sub-7 minute mile pace) that I didn’t care. But when I went shopping with both my girls and they informed me, “Dad, you can’t buy those, you’re too old!” I knew I wasn’t cool anymore.
Let’s be honest here. I’m not one of those adults who try way too hard to be cool. You’ll never catch me wearing a hoody and trying to talk slang with teenagers, but I do like to dress somewhat current. Since my girls love shopping, I’ll usually bring them with me when I hunt for clothes. Lately… it’s been a little sobering.
The last time we were shopping I was trying on shoes. I tried on a pair of casual shoes that I’ve seen a lot of young 20-somethings wearing.
My daughter Alyssa saw me and said, “No Dad. Just… no.”
I hate it when she says that. I’m not even deserving of an explanation. “Just… no.”
“Come on!” I pleaded. “I’ve seen Andy wear these!” Andy is their young youth pastor who dresses like an Express model.
Alyssa gave me that ‘duh’ look. “Yeah Dad. Andy can get away with that. He’s not 42!”
“I’m 41!” I quickly barked back! “There’s a big difference.”
A couple stores later I tried on a sweater and my youngest daughter burst into laughter, a pretty humbling experience.
“What?” I inquired of Ashley. “What’s so freaking hilarious?”
I looked in the mirror and Ashley didn’t even have to answer. The Thanksgiving and Christmas feasting had made its way to my belly, big time! Try wearing form-fitting sweaters with an extra 10 pounds of winter hibernation fat around your belly. I looked like a pregnant hipster.
In another month I turn 42. I might as well just go to a thrift store right now and buy some plaid pants donated by an elderly snowbird from Fort Lauderdale.
Question: What makes someone too old for youth ministry? Share your thoughts?
If you liked this article from Jonathan, you’ll love his entertaining, honest look at parenting (his book is titled) Candid Confessions of an Imperfect Parent.