Building For The Future: One Generation Away
A MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MATT DURKEE
“And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.” –Judges 2:10 (KJV)
Before Jesus left, He entrusted the mission to His disciples: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations…” (Matthew 28:19-20). Taking up that mission, Paul challenges those leading the Church: “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).
Package those two verses together. We are told that our responsibility as disciples is to both bring the Gospel message to the nations and to invest in faithful, reproducing followers of Jesus. We are to build up a generation that would follow the previous in going out to make Christ known..
Working today, planning for tomorrow, building for the future.
Our prayer as a mission is not only to be successful in meeting the needsof our partners today but to support those partners serving the Lord for years to come. This means getting serious about investing in the next generation of servants so that, by the grace of God, the mission can and will go on. To do that, I believe that youth and vitality (balanced by wisdom and experience) are needed for us to remain effective where God has called us to serve. Younger people will continue to shape and strengthen the future of the mission if they are provided with the right opportunities to get involved.
That being said, here’s a troubling fact: reports have shown that fewer men and women choose to be involved in missions at a younger age. Financial debt, ongoing education, and cultural priorities are just a few of the deterrents. So how do we continue to engage young people, the next generation, to invite their greater involvement in missio Dei (the mission of God)? We can’t wait until young people have started college or their careers before introducing them to missions.
Church leaders, mentors, parents, friends—we are ALL meant to fan the flame of missions in the next generation of “go-ers” and “do-ers” for the Lord. 1 Peter 4:10, “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
Casting a vision while they’re young is important. From preschool through high school, local churches can teach about global missions. Kids can pray for unreached people groups. They can meet visiting missionaries. They can be involved in ministry projects and trips. They can hear their pastors regularly talking and praying about missions.
With hope assured and steadfast faith, we intend to lean into the plans for tomorrow while taking on the challenges of today. We’re ready to do our part, to engage, equip, and enable the next generation, that by the grace of God they may be effective in what God calls them to do. For the faithful yet to come, consider what chapter of their story God’s asking you to be part of.