During Catalyst Conference, Craig Groeschel of LifeChurch.tv (Edmond, OK) discussed generational tension.
We have a spiritual enemy that wants to divide us by denominations, so that we don’t work together. And I also have a hunch he wants to divide us generationally, so that we don’t work together.
When it comes to generations in the church, division is bad, but the tension can be good because we need each other.
I am able to do so much of what I do today because of the wisdom of those who have come before me.
TO THE OLDER GENERATION
Do not resent, fear, or judge the next generation of ministers but believe in them and invest in them. They are not the church of tomorrow. They are the church of today. They are different just like you were different.
One of the reasons the older generation finds it difficult to invest in the younger generation is because of insecurity. When you lead from insecurity, nothing works well.
Delegate authority not tasks. Tasks create followers. Authority creates leaders.
The younger generation wants authenticity and someone who believes in them.
If you are not dead, you are not done. Your age and experience is not a liability. It is an asset. Embrace the season you are in.
One of the greatest honors I can have at this age to to become as a spiritual dad to the younger generation.
Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me - Psalm 71:18
TO THE YOUNGER GENERATION
You need those who have come before you.
Business leaders describe the younger generation as entitled. You have been protected and encouraged, so you feel very entitled.
You tend to overestimate what God wants to do through you in the short run. This disillusions you and then causes you to underestimate what God will do through you in the long run.
Because the younger generation feels entitled so much, it is a generation that does not show honor well. Andy Stanley says, “Honor publicly leads to influence privately.” If you want to lead up, show honor.
Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.” - Mark 6:4
One of the reason God is not doing more in churches today is because there is not a culture of honor. Jesus is not your homeboy. He is the King of Kings.
If you want to be over someone, learn to serve under people well. Honor values, respects, and highly esteems. Honor lifts up. Dishonor tears down.
There is a big difference between respect and honor. Respect is earned, but honor is given.
Some of you need to repent because you have dishonored those above you, and that dishonor is hindering you from being able to achieve what you need to do.
You don’t need to have the same standard of living at age 25 as mom and dad. Don’t be entitled.
You are the most cause driven, mission minded generation in modern history. If you will come under authority and be teachable, you will be the greatest generation of our time.
God believes in you. You didn’t choose Him. He chose you.
Do not underestimate your future.
Give God glory by taking the the best of those who have come before us. Quit messing around in pride and arrogance and do something that glorifies the cause of Christ.