Focus 40 Day 10: Extreme Living – Reaching for the Next Generation
Prayer Focus: Pray to discern where you should reach – Acts 1:8
Extreme Living—Reaching for the Next Generation
A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy.
—1 Samuel 3:8 (NIV)
A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, I was talking to the director of a large U.S. campus ministry and asked him about this generation of twentysomethings. His reply was, “I work with them week in and week out, and they have some of the craziest ideas I’ve ever heard. There’s not much to be hopeful for.”
When it comes to inviting a new generation to discover what it means to follow Jesus, we have two options: step into the messy mix of different ideas and help them navigate the world of faith (and learn something from them along the way) or, like Eli, step aside. God will use them whether or not we are willing to join his mission of building a new generation.
Eli had not been faithful in addressing the sin of his sons. It was easier to ignore the issue, maybe hoping it might go away, and in the process of it all, he became calloused to the voice and spirit of God.
There’s a quote attributed to Mark Twain: “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” The last thing I want to be known for is being like Eli. When it comes to empowering a new generation to be disciples of Jesus, I want to be tuned in to the Spirit of God and invite a new generation to tune in as well.
Jesus, may I never grow so dull that I cease to recognize the way you speak into another’s life. May I never cease to celebrate those moments when your divine call is imparted to a new generation of your servants, with their crazy ideas and all. Amen.
Rev. Kelly Philips, Church of God Missionary to Germany