Advice to the Older Generation:
- Don't resent or fear or judge the next generation. Believe in them. They need you.
- God values maturity. If you're not dead, you're not done.
- Hand ministry over - not just tasks (creates followers - people who simply do what they told) but authority (creates leaders). Give leadership to the next generation.
- Embrace the season that you are in. Don't try to be something you are not. The younger generation can smell a fake a million miles off. Authenticity trumps cool every single time.
- Care and love them. Be yourself. Be a pastoral father or mother. Be a coach. Invest in the lives of those coming behind.
- Declare God's power to the next generation (Ps.75:18). What you have is an asset to those coming behind.
Advice to the Younger Generation:
- Tim Elmore conducted a study asked to describe 20 something's in workforce. The four most prominent answers were: exceptional, enthusiastic, extraordinary ... and entitled. This is an over-protected generation.
- You tend to over-estimate what you can do in the short run and grossly under-estimate what you can do through a lifetime of faithfulness.
- You can lead up by honouring. Andy Stanley says, "Honour publicly results in influence privately." Even Jesus was limited through lack of honour and faith in people. Honour God or who he is ... then honour people. Honours builds up. "Respect is earned but honour is given. Show honour to those who are above you." If you ever want to be over, learn to be under with integrity.
For the generations to work together, it has to be intentional. Organisations naturally age.
a. Create ongoing feedback feedback loops ... from the older and younger. Do with this with your sermons (before and after speaking). Value their opinion. Creates all sorts of opportunity for mutual growth.
b. Create specific mentoring moments. With business leaders, sharp 18-24 year olds, etc. Plan for them. Develops strength in your organisation. Ask someone to mentor you. Don't copy what they do. Learn how they think. Ask questions and learn.
c. Create opportunities for significant development in your organisation. Put the next generation up on stage. Believe in them.
Honour those who have gone before you ... most lived and ministered in tough environments (sacrifice).
Believe in the next generation ... they are the most cause-driven in recent history.
"What will you do with your life that will last forever?"
John shared from his most recent book, Who is this Man?
Too often we argue about Christianity but fail to marvel at Jesus. Where, before the church, was there a movement that sought to include every human being (see Col.3:11)? It was Jesus' idea!
- Jesus changed how we think about history. Nero, Napoleon and Stalin died in the year of our Lord ... Whose influence would last longer - Jesus or the Roman Empire?
- Jesus shaped how we express compassion. The weak and the marginal were not valued in the ancient world. Jesus turned children into people. He cared for lepers, the blind and the deaf. This vision gripped the world. Orphanages and hospitals were begun by Christians, as was the Red Cross and the Salvos.
- The Jesus movement shaped education. Education was usually reserved for male children in elite families. Jesus taught everyone (men and women, slave and free) and told them to teach others. Churches started universities. The medieval insistence of the rationality of God led to the emergence of science. Languages, alphabets, dictionaries ...
- The Jesus movement shaped art and music.
- The Jesus movement changed political theory. Jesus declared that there was another realm that even kings would have to answer to.
- The Jesus movement changed how we think about human rights and dignity. God is like a Father ... "... you are all one in Jesus Christ." First egalitarian statement in literature.
- Jesus taught uniquely that we are to love if enemies.
We must marvel at this man because his work is not done yet. Our world awaits for a fresh manifestation of Jesus' vision. Jesus still calls, "Follow me ..." Will you devote yourself to his expanded vision of the kingdom. You are not alone. You are accompanied by someone who is for you. Jesus still lives and still loves.
Part 4 ...