Ps Steve Graham
7 March 2018

Passing The Baton

In the context of a large church - often seen as focused on youth - I have noticed lately just how many of the key speakers and ministers have been older.

As someone who has recently turned 55 in a movement with massive momentum among youth and strong younger leaders, this is striking for me.

Examples: At the recent Equippers staff conference, Peter Prothero and I led sessions - the older teaching guys! The church has had visiting ministry from Michael Maiden and Danny Guglielmucci. And then there’s Bruce and Helen Monk charging around the world and revolutionising children’s ministry. In our church movement there are people like Ian and Dayle Wright, Don and Jill Smith, in my wider circles people like Phil and Bron Tait.

I think the difference is that these people carry a spark of faith, still living on the edge of faith. They are forward looking, rather than nostalgic - so it’s all about the next generation rather than their preferences in style. They are delighted to see young people passionate about faith and excited to be in environments of youthful enthusiasm. They have surrendered control for influence through sharing of advice, mentoring ultimately for relationship, a heart to serve the emerging generation, not about protecting traditions but passing on lessons from their journey of faith, and their understanding of the ways of God and faith and life

Malachi 4:6 - "He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents";

As Ps Bruce Monk says, “Fathers go down to sons in style so sons can go up to fathers in spirit”

The first move is from the fathers and mothers of faith. It’s not about them! It’s called generativity, folks - that life is about the joy of generating life, freedom and success in the next generation.

It’s exciting to live in a time where there is a truly intergenerational Church with honour and respect between the generations.

Ten to twenty years ago people used to say 'where are the spiritual fathers and mothers?' - a missing generation. I don’t think the young leaders I see would feel that anymore.

I am so pleased for a younger generation of leaders who are championed to become all they are called to be but they feel the safety of some older heads in the background who offer the voice of experience

It’s a good time to be alive and in ministry. God is doing something beautiful in our time.

Ps Steve Graham

Principal - Equippers College Auckland