Maybe you think this is an obvious observation, but I don’t think we can focus enough ensuring the success of the Next Generation! Their success is determined by our ability to pour into them and pass on our best learning. No matter whether it is education, healthcare or fighting poverty, things should be getting better for them. Why? Because if we do it right, we are passing on our experience so they don’t have to go through the pain that we experienced. Without them, we have no purpose! The link to the next generation is vitally important to the success of any endeavor.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”
Matthew 28:19 ESV
Jesus understood the importance of raising up the next generation of leaders in his time. By today’s standards, Jesus was a young man who transformed the world through raising up 12 other younger men to do His work after he was gone. This is a vision worth living for and an example of how we should live our lives.
As I was coaching my son’s baseball game last night, I saw 18 kids on the field. ALL of them belong to someone here on earth, but more importantly, they belong to God and His plan for them. I’m working hard with these kids to help them make the connection between hitting, fielding and teamwork. WE ARE ALL ON THE SAME TEAM!
Why We Need The Next Generation
#1 They Complete Our Family – Criticizing your own children is a revelation of your own failure and insecurities. I constantly hear people in our culture BLAMING our young people for current circumstances instead of helping them. Children are the lifeblood of our future, literally! If you don’t care about kids and youth, you have a serious character issue and you have forgotten where you came from. This is not only true in a nuclear family, but a church family as well. Seeing all those young faces interact with the older faces brings me great joy on a Sunday. Youth and kids don’t exist to serve us! We exist to serve them! This isn’t so they will have a sense of entitlement, but an example to follow.
#2 Without Them You Don’t Matter – It isn’t what you learn, but what you pass on from your learning. The question is, “did we leave things better off than when it was handed to us?” Our church will take a HUGE step in maturation when we plant a church that plants a church! We see this vision embodied in 2 Timothy 2:2, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” From Paul, to Timothy, to reliable people teaching others! That is 4 generations of impact for the Gospel! That is the target on the wall. If the vision would have died with Paul, it didn’t mean much.
#3 They Teach Us To Dream – They don’t know what they don’t know. Most anyone who invented something or made a huge discovery had to dream it was possible. Not knowing you aren’t “supposed” to do something is a gift from God. So many times, the older we get the more cynical we can become. Maybe this is why Jesus picked YOUNG men to be His disciples. For some of us it has been years since we have had a compelling vision and dream for our life. Get around some young people with passion and it will renew your sense of purpose.
#4 They Inspire us To Higher Standards – The next generation is watching us to see if we really believe what we say we believe. I believe everyone is influencing someone, even when they don’t know it. The reason you should live your life, “worthy of the calling you have received” (Ephesians 4:1), is because that calling extends far beyond you and what you can understand. We all know we will in someway fail the next generation, but we must see things from their perspective and realize they are watching.
This week at 217church we will get an update of all God has been up to with our Next Generation ministries. Our kids and youth ministries are making a difference locally and around the world through 217global!