The Running of the Generations

by Delaine Allen

There has been a great deal of excitement lately?over the anticipated return of prodigal sons and daughters to the kingdom. There is also great joy over what we’re seeing God do among youth and young adults. Along with that, we’re hearing statements like, “they’re the next generation of the church”, “no, they’re the now generation of the church”, “our experience becomes their foundation”.

Something about this doesn’t sit right with me. Not that I disagree with the statements that God is raising the young ones?to be leaders right now. I just have a?trouble with the exclusivity of the statements.

A momentary aside…It’s almost always better to comment on and to build on what we have in common than argue about our differences of thought. Criticism of one another’s revelation and understanding is one of the main things keeping the church of the Lord Jesus Christ from experiencing unity. I don’t believe that attempting to be God’s little ‘thought police’ is very pleasing to Him.

So, let me just say that I have a problem with some of our ideas being very limiting. They’re from old mindsets based on past experience. We’ve never questioned some of these concepts before. Why should we? Things have always been this way.

Back to the generations. The concept that we’ve been seeing (or, that we’re assuming is correct) is one of a generational relay race. One generation runs their race and then passes off the baton to the next. Just when they begin to have a little bit of wisdom and spiritual maturity, they begin to mentor the next generation of leaders, hand over their memoirs, and leave.

God is wanting to use all generations, right now! Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost, drawing on prophecy from the book of Joel, pointed out that this outpouring of God’s Spirit was to span all the age groupings, all social classes, and the genders. In 1 John 2:12-15, the apostle writes to the children, the young men (youthful warriors), and the fathers (the ones mature and seasoned in their relationship with God). Each ages group has defining characteristics that makes their contribution special.

Let’s expand our thinking beyond the old relay race mentality. “Mentoring” is becoming a key word for our time. It’s so much more than the passing on memoirs. Training, equipping, and mentoring takes a lot of time and attention. It includes teaching, mobilizing, releasing, overseeing, and the ongoing sharing of wisdom and encouragement. It comes by word and example. Good mentoring requires loving and secure relationship. Yes, this takes TIME. Even decades.

Because the “older generation” begins to mentor, that doesn’t mean they should start planning to back off, retire, and write their obituaries. They have many more decades of progressively experiencing God and having more to share. The world has taught us to keep the generations isolated from one another, but I don’t believe that’s God’s best. Sure, the young ones will always have new ideas and new ways of doing things. They should be keeping us all fresh in our thinking.

I’m seeing that the generations should be running together…two, three, four, five, and maybe more. Here’s where we really have to break the mental box. We’ve been accustomed to the idea of dying young, at 70 or 80 years of age. That’s not scriptural. There’s a really good reason why many who preach healing and minister strongly in the gifts of healings are also emphasizing nutrition and taking care of ourselves physically. This emphasis is from God. It’s time to break the mentality of premature death.

Living a long and full life is a matter of principle. Death is an enemy. Many years ago, Watchman Nee wrote, “Life and immortality, declares the Apostle, [2 Tim. 1:10] are the common portion of all who receive the gospel. Wherefore the question arises, how far is the Holy Spirit able to lead a believer into possessing his portion?…The Lord calls us to overcome death for His body’s sake. Unless we conquer the last enemy our battle is not concluded…Moment by moment let us live for Him and draw upon His resurrection life for the needs of our spirit, soul and body. ‘By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death’ [Heb. 11:5]. Let us likewise believe.” – Watchman Nee, The Spiritual Man, vol. 3

God is doing something in our time that we haven’t seen before. We are to press on in victory and in longevity. Let the generations begin to run together!

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print this article!
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks
  • NewsVine
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Twitter

Leave a Reply

Tag Cloud