Today’s “Turning Point” – a daily devotion from Dr. David Jeremiah.
“A New Generation” by Tom Messer, Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church
A New Generation
Because of Trinity Baptist College and Trinity Christian Academy, I have the privilege to be around many young adults and teenagers. I can’t begin to tell you how refreshing and energizing it is for me personally to be surrounded by young people who want to serve Christ with their life. Last week I spoke of a transition, which has already begun, and which many of us will likely experience over the next 10-15 years. This is not a move of style, methodology or doctrine, but of something much more natural.
Much of the leadership in our independent Baptists churches is older (50+). This is not a negative thing, in fact in most cases it is very positive. I recently turned fifty, so I am included in this category. Many of our pastors have served faithfully for years, and in some cases decades, teaching, preaching and developing people into committed followers of Christ. The experience and wisdom of our senior leadership will continue to guide us and should be a resource for all of our churches in the days and years ahead. I think that it is important that we respect the work of these men and honor them for their faithful stand for the word of God.
I am also finding it energizing to see young men emerge as leaders in our movement. They have a passion for ministry and a desire to do great things for God. The fact is, we are going to see the rate of change in churches increase over the next few years. Just the demographics of our people and the shear size of the upcoming generation indicate this is happening. We must take a hard look at how we are transitioning from one leader to the next, and how we are preparing for change both for the younger generation and also for our churches.
I’m convinced that this new generation of leadership in our independent Baptist churches is as committed to sound doctrine, the gospel and the Great Commission as any previous generation. I do at times sense some resistance by our established leadership as these new leaders take a fresh look and approach to ministry (some of these sentiments have also been reflected in comments of previous posts). My challenge to all of us is to embrace the transition; there’s too much at stake.
The week that I turned 33, I became the pastor at Trinity. I have learned the importance of respecting and honoring older men of God, and I also learned to appreciate the older men that God used to encourage me even when my approach was not identical to theirs. I have experienced the generational tension first-hand. I remember moving our Sunday night service from 7pm to 6pm, only to have Dr. Lee Roberson preach at our church weeks later that a church should never move their Sunday night service to an earlier time.
Although I look back humorously on that situation, at that time it represented a different approach to ministry, even though the change was minor. I was speaking with Dr. Elmer Towns this week and he reminded me of a saying that I have heard and quoted many times. “Methods are many, principles are few, methods may change, principles never do.”
This kind of generational transition is also taking place in the local church. Just this past month, we elected 26 new deacons ranging from their 20’s to their mid 70’s. As they stood in front of the church at their installation it was obvious that we are bringing some younger men into the leadership of our church. I am thankful for a church that is multi-generational and willing to make room for young people to emerge in leadership.
We are going to need the ideas, methods, energy and passion that young leaders bring to help us build strong churches and fulfill the Great Commission. As younger leaders develop, they will need the experience, wisdom, guidance, encouragement and support of the established leadership. There are two options: we can work together in a spirit of unity — or — further divide, fearing and disrespecting what each group brings to the table. I’m excited about what I see God doing in the lives of young church leaders around our country.
“6 Ways to Have a Better Work Life Balance” Jonathan Milligan,
Follow Jonathan on Twitter at @CPACareerCoach
One of the main reasons that candidates often make a move is to get a better work life balance. Many graduates today are hitting the ground running only to take a breath a few years later. After running themselves ragged, they begin to realize that they cannot keep this pace and start a family.
What they want more than anything is to have a better work life balance.
“Overwhelmed by Anxiety?” John MacArthur
We allow our daily concerns to turn into worry—and therefore sin—when our thoughts become focused on changing the future instead of doing our best to handle our present circumstances.
“Two Ways the Gospel Changes Your View of Sin” Tim Keller
The fundamental motives of self-justification and self-glorification are what distort our lives and alienate us from God.