When we think about connecting the next generation of youth ministers into the Spirit-filled movement and igniting a new generation of leaders, we need first to look in the mirror. As leaders, we need to make ourselves available as “mothers and fathers of the faith” to serve our younger generation as mentors. We are an integral part of seeing this vision come to fruition. Of course, I encourage the younger generation to seek out mentors in their walk of faith – to do the work of desiring the input and guidance of those that have gone before them. But we as leaders need to make space in our busy lives to not only give time to those who want to learn from us, but also so that we can learn from the younger generation.
There have been many mentors in my life, and I am so thankful for the wisdom they have imparted to me. If I had ignored the examples and advice of my mentors, or never sought them out, then I would have never been able to learn, gain insight or receive the guidance to fulfill the visions that God has given me. Some in the emerging generation can get stuck in the false idea that the older generation’s ideas are outdated. Sure, some things change as the years go on, but there is no substitution for life experience. People who have gone before us have walked paths we may not have dreamed of yet, and if we are to walk in the same success and victory as they have, then we need to be willing to listen and learn.
While it is vital for the younger generation to connect with mothers and fathers of the faith, I feel it is equally important for the older generation to be willing to learn from the younger generation as well. We do ourselves a great disservice when we dismiss the thoughts and ideas of the young. If we don’t allow ourselves to learn from younger generations then we may remain stagnant in areas in which we need growth. We are in a historical dispensation of dramatic change in the age of digital technology, connectivity and globalization. We would be foolish to not allow our children to train and teach us in the realities of our times. We all need each other in order to understand God’s will for our times as we join Him in His great mission.