Millennials. Snowflakes. Gen X. Gen. Y. Gen. Z. Whatever you call them, God the Father calls them His “new generation.” How you treat God’s new generation will determine your place in the Kingdom. We send 19-year-olds to war and they call in air support to bomb cities. Why don’t we trust them when they come home to set up chairs at the church?
“So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.” (Ps. 71: 18)
I burn with a passion for this wonderful, beautiful new generation. They are bright, creative, and cheerful. Many have huge family challenges and gaps in their training. They love God and write amazing worship music. And they belong to God.
The world is making a bold bid for the new generation. They want them. Satan wants them. Why don’t we want them?
What should my attitude be toward this new generation God loves?
1. AFFIRM them:
- God affirmed Jesus. Paul affirmed Timothy. The new generation is missing affirmation. Parents are too busy and bossy. Let them hear your voice saying two things: “I love you” and “I’m proud of you.”
2. CORRECT them:
- They also need “direction.” Correct their attitude, their body language. Require them to tell the truth. Require that they show honor.
- Stop them when they are being selfish or manipulative. Be involved in their choice of life companion (or you’ll be sorry).
3. HONOR them:
- Give them a “place at the table.” Show them honor. Don’t talk down to them as a baby. Treat them as an adult. Appreciate their work.
4. PREFER them:
Give them a chance at the big stage, the big chance, the big opportunity. When you do, don’t control them. Let them make mistakes then coach them.
5. INVEST in them:
- Help them to buy a home. Help them to start a business. Help them to plant a church, follow their dreams.
6. LISTEN to them:
- Set up roundtables with them, not lectures. Treasure their new vision (not your old dreams). Implement their ideas and give them credit publicly to build their confidence.
7. RELEASE them:
- There has to come the moment when you let your teenager drive them car out of the driveway alone. Their responsibility level clues you to when that moment is.
- Let them get married. Let them choose their career. Let them move to another city. Let them follow their calling from God. They may be the next entrepreneur, missionary, … or President!
They need us. WE NEED THEM.
Change your priorities. Modify your direction. Instead of aiming for your own influence, wealth, and retirement, invest in theirs.
If you will make these seven changes, God will trust you with His greatest, most precious, most powerful gift He ever bestowed on mankind:
“The next generation.”