I want my children to succeed. I want them to find the joy of finding a relationship with Jesus, serving Him with all their hearts. Some of my best memories are the ways my own parents, brothers, mentors, pastors and leaders have poured into me. The next generation has been given to us as a blessing and a stewardship. We need to take their failure and success as our own. We are the sum total of what people pour into us and they will be what we pour into them. So how should we be blessing and pouring into the Next Generation? Remember, your life will be measured by how much of it is given away.
My wife Summer with her Dad, sometime in 1976…
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it…” Proverbs 22:6
My family is in the process of saying goodbye to my wife’s father Gary who is near the end of his life here on earth. He has battled cancer for almost 10 years. He isn’t perfect, (obviously because he is a Broncos fan) but he has been a remarkable father, friend and example to countless people. He has character. As I watched my kids Facetime with him last night over 3,000 miles of internet waves, I was reminded of our responsibility to the next generation to bless them and how much Gary has poured into and sacrificed for us.
4 Ways To Bless The Next Generation…
#1 Set the Example – You know that more of life is caught rather than taught. Your living is your teaching. Kids will just do what you do, but interestingly enough adults are the same way. People are looking for others to model their lives after. Regarding morality, purity, possessions, family, and relationships people are looking for the highest standards of LOVE they can find. More than likely, someone is watching you, like a hawk. Faithful to God, the husband of one wife for 40+ years…Gary set the example for us.
#2 Believe In Them – If the only dream and vision you believe in is your own, your life will come back empty and void of purpose. I believe it is IMPOSSIBLE to live as a Christ follower and not believe in the dreams of others. The very nature of the Gospel is laying down your life for someone else. I don’t need 10 more critics regarding my dreams, I need just one catalyst relationship that will propel me forward. A critical spirit towards those we have influence over will destroy them slowly over time. I can sense that Gary is proud of Summer and I. He believes in our dream.
#3 Speak A Blessing – WORDS ARE POWERFUL, especially from those who are blood. My father in law is a man of few words. He doesn’t talk often, but when He does it is meaningful. I have made a habit of this for my children. Recently I was asked how I verbally bless my children. Here is an example: I say this almost everyday to Lydia: “Remember you are a daughter of God, forgiven! Today may you have a strong body, a sharp mind and a bold spirit.” Proverbs 31:25,26,30. Start using your tongue to unleash confidence and stop starting fires. Words must be chosen carefully.
#4 Teach Them to Learn – One of the most important qualities I look for when hiring people is this, are you teachable? Maybe you have never thought of this, but we must teach the next generation to maintain a posture of learning and humility. Once someone knows it all and realizes they don’t is when the real learning can begin. In order to learn you must listen. He taught us to Listen.
When you are gone from this earth in a few short years, your mark will be what you left for others. Take without forgetting and give without remembering. The next generation is depending on us. Thanks Dad for adopting me into your family and for trusting me with your daughter and believing in our dreams.
This Sunday at 217church we continue our #NextGeneration Series: “Clarity – What Matters Most” 1 Timothy 4:11-16
November 2 – Clarity (Special Guest – Carl Clark from Urban Promise Trenton)
November 9 – Sacrifice
November 16- Vision
We are the church that meets at two theaters! Join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ. 217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 9:30 & 11am and Starplex Cinemas in East Windsor, NJ at 10:15. Our new East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday. If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information.