FIRSTHAND FAITH FOR A NEW GENERATION
Every generation has the opportunity to see God move afresh in their time. Our desire must not only be to see God at work in our lives but even more, to see Him at work in the next generation. David expresses this desire in Psalm 22:30, “Our children will also serve him. Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord.” History has proven that everything we have experienced with the Lord is only one generation away from extinction. One of the saddest verses in the Bible that has been repeated again and again throughout history is Judges 2:10: “After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel.” Although we cannot force the next generation to know, love and serve the Lord for themselves, we can do a few things to make this course of action more likely. Here are five things every Christian and every church can do to help the next generation experience and enjoy a firsthand faith for themselves.
“Be real in your relationships, in your struggles and in your walk with God.”
1. Keep Growing – Keeping your own walk with God fresh is the greatest thing you can do to encourage the next generation to have fresh and personal encounters with the Lord. Don’t get stuck in the past, and don’t get stuck on yesterday’s victories, but invite God to move afresh in your own life today. Find fresh manna for yourself for today and as you do, you will be setting the example you want to see repeated. If you are authentically living what you want to see in them, you have a far better chance of seeing it come to pass. “We teach what we know, but we reproduce what we are.”
2. Keep It Real – Every new generation longs for sincerity, authenticity, and honesty from the previous one. They can smell “fake” from a mile away and “fake” creeps into our heart unawares! Battle every day to keep it real. Be real in your relationships, real in your struggles and real in your walk with God.
3. Put Their Interests Before Your Own – Every new generation tries to push the limits of the styles and methods of the previous one. Instead, what if the older people in the church were fighting for the younger people’s music and styles instead of their own? I have seen this in action and it’s beautiful to behold. This is true servant leadership! I don’t have to like it to want it. I want what will help my kids meet Jesus more than I want the style that I feel most comfortable in.
4. Let Them Face Their Own Giants – Sometimes we want to fight our kid’s battles for them but this keeps them from building the muscles they need. They need to get into situations where if God doesn’t come through they are in big trouble. That’s where miracles happen and that’s where they will discover firsthand faith afresh for themselves. Don’t pray that God will keep your kids from danger, pray He will make them dangerous, and then send them out into the battle.
5. Be Their Biggest Cheerleaders – They won’t be as big or strong as you when they are starting out and they know it. So they need our encouragement and prodding to keep moving forward and taking bigger steps. One day, their capacity will far surpass our own as they stand on our shoulders.
Let’s be faithful in our generation to serve the next generation in a way that will set them up to see God move afresh in their time.
Pastors Dan & Marianna Goddard
Victory Church of MooseJaw
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