Mentoring the Next Generation
“And the things which you have seen and heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2
Being 61 isn’t all bad. Yes, I admit, it is a weird place to be especially when you are beginning to think about where you fit into the big scheme of things.
But one of the things that I am becoming more and more passionate about is mentoring the next generation so that when the time comes, they can pick up the baton and run with it.
There are lots of biblical examples of mentoring like Moses and Joshua and Caleb, Elijah and Elisha, Paul and Timothy to name a few.
Over the years we’ve done a pretty lousy job of mentoring next generation leaders in the church. Some of us have tried to hold onto the reigns beyond our effectiveness, and in a sense, the younger generation abandoned ship and gave up trying to fit in or find a niche for service.
In my home church growing up there was some jealously when it came to the piano and organ. While our folks wanted to get the “kids” involved, it would have never meant someone else “getting off the bench” even for one service.
And my generation didn’t do it much better. Even if our parents or elders wanted to mentor, we didn’t want it or feel we needed it because we had all the answers.
The millennial generation which is now the largest generation on the planet, wants to be mentored. These are the next generation leaders for tomorrow in our churches, para-church ministries and organizations.
They are looking for answers, direction and help, and we as Boomers and Busters have a wonderful window of opportunity to build into their lives – and part of that process is giving them opportunities to serve. No, they won’t do it our way (we didn’t do it the way our parents did) – in fact, they might figure out a better way to do it and do it ever more effectively. But by golly, they want it and we should take the opportunity to come alongside them and cheer them on.
Paul must of done that as he built into Timothy’s life. He modeled his walk with the Lord and taught Timothy well and was his greatest cheerleader. He told Timothy – take what you’ve learn and teach others. And the rest is history.
Are there Timothy’s in your life that you need to mentor? My guess is that you already know someone in your church or ministry. Invite them to lunch and take time to get to know THEM first. Once they see you care, you’ll have their ear. Remember the John C. Maxwell principle: “People don’t want to know how much you know as much as they want to know you care.”
We have the opportunity and privilege to come alongside this generation and equip them for the future. They ARE our legacy.
Can you identify one or two young men you can mentor? What steps will you take to begin the process. – Bill Welte is President/CEO of America’s Keswick
Think About This: By faith we expect rich harvest fields and breaking nets, for the gospel is specifically designed to bear fruit. —Jack Miller
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. Psalm 31:20