When it comes to the next generation, I’m so grateful to be at The Creek! We want every student and child to connect, grow, and go as they become fully discipled followers of Jesus.
We have seen so many students and children give their life to Christ, serve in various roles throughout the church, and go on to continue to follow the Lord.
The next generation (throughout scripture) is a huge deal to God.
In fact, there’s a sort of historical recounting (more of a warning) in the book of Judges about a generation that wasn’t discipled well in who God was, and how He had rescued the people of Israel, and here’s just a piece of their story;
Judges 2:10-12 says this: And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel. And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals. And they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt. They went after other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed down to them. And they provoked the Lord to anger.
Did you catch that? The generation after a faithful generation “did not know the Lord or the work that He had done for Israel.”
Every generation is given the option: Will we choose to serve the next generation through discipleship, or will we ignore, demean, or complain about the next generation? I’ve often seen people make the choice to complain about the next generation, rather than disciple them.
Even in my own generation (the much maligned millennials), I’ve heard it all;
I’ve been told that I:
- Am Lazy
- Am a snowflake (I can only assume this is a reference to Frozen…which millennials made. You’re welcome.)
- That I killed Applebee’s (or whatever middling restaurant happens to be struggling), and replaced it with avocado toast. (honestly, delicious.)
- That I killed cable (okay, maybe they’re not wrong on this one.)
- Am against working a 9-5 job. (I mean, I guess we invented working from home, but I’m pretty sure we all have a side hustle after our normal job, because you know, inflation.)
- And the list goes on.
Here’s what I’ve noticed though: The voices that have staying power in my generation are the ones who disciple and encourage. It’s not the voices that complain, demean, and ridicule. Just like every generation, we have a hunger for someone to show us the way to follow Jesus and grow in grace.
That is what the next generation longs for. It all begs the question in our own lives. Are we discipling the next generation? Whether that’s young adults, students, children, or even the person just a few years below you, you can choose to start today!
Here are some simple ways to start walking down that path:
1. Be aware: On the weekends at the church, and wherever you are in life, make sure you’re actually aware of the people around you. Recognize where the children, students, and young adults are in the room, and help them feel welcome! Learn names and stories. Maybe even invite them (or their families) out to lunch!
2. Pray: Ask God to do incredible things in the next generation – pray specifically for those you have gotten to know. The next line of pastors and worship leaders and missionaries and business owners and politicians isn’t growing up somewhere else. They are at our church, in our families, and looking for a place to feel connected and come to know God. Ask God to do incredible things in and through them.
3. Jump in: Just in case you weren’t aware, we have a children’s ministry, a student ministry, and a young adult ministry that you could jump into TODAY and start serving the next generation. And here’s the thing: You have the opportunity to be remembered as that voice of encouragement, hope, guidance, and peace in their lives at a critical time. You might even get to lead someone to Jesus! How incredible.
If you’re ready to get off the sidelines, be aware, pray, and JUMP IN! We’ll see you soon in the NextGen Ministry!
4901 N. Main Street | Fort Worth, TX 76179