When I was youth pastor, the name of the ministry was called Generation Church. Generation Church was a model for youth ministry indicating that we were meant to minister to a generation, not just to young people. The logic for this was sound.
Then and now, junior high school, high school and college students do not look very different in the way the world targets them. For example, music, TV, movies, social media, and fashion are all marketed very similarly. Their goal is to catch a generation, not just a demographic. You may notice that junior high kids and high school kids listen to some of the same music, watch the same shows, videos, and movies. Not exactly the same, but similar. They dress alike and find trends to follow that each demographic finds appealing. When a company is able to appeal to all three demographics, they have reached a generation. Their likelihood of being profitable grows.
The Bible has a lot to say about generations. One of my favorite verses comes from Acts 13:36, “For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers…” It doesn’t say that David served his family or just his friends. It says that he served the purposes of God in his own generation.
Sometimes, we get stuck with the idea that we are meant to just talk to the people in front of us. The truth is, we have a voice that has the potential to span generations.
- Each generation must experience God for themselves.
God has a great call for you and for me. If we don’t think about it beyond our own relationship with God, it will be lost. We need a view for more than just our personal relationship with God and an idea that what we do is meant to serve and love others.
- Faith is to be passed on to the next generation.
The faith that you and I have was never meant to be for just one person, but for generations. Think back to the disciples who were with Jesus and the early Christians who started what we now know as the church. Their faith was meant to serve their generation and inspire others to do the same.
- Training our families takes time.
The most natural place to pass on your faith and beliefs is within your family. This doesn’t happen overnight. Most of us don’t realize that the most meaningful things we were shown by our family was not in words, but in actions. It is through a series of opportunities, where faith is shown and tested, that we pass on our faith. Then, those around us, and those we love, witness it. Training families takes time.
- Abraham was chosen because he would train his kids.
God looked into the heart of Abraham and understood who he was. He knew Abraham would make sure that the next generation was blessed by his generation. That would only happen if he served his generation well and made sure that they understood the faith that he had.
God looks at us, and has chosen us because he knows we have the ability to train those coming after us. God is a good God and He has a lot for us to do. However, we must remember that we are not here for the service of ourselves, but for God. We are here for Him. He wants us to love others in such a way that is infectious to this generation and those to come.
Rene Solis is Director of Koinonia School of Ministry, a ministry of Koinonia Church in Hanford, CA. He can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 559-582-1528.