“Ministry is doomed! There are not enough young, new missionaries to replace the old ones! Young men aren’t answering the call to preach anymore! Young people are too focused on Facebook to reach the lost!”
In my opinion, comments like these need to go. They only place they should have in our churches is on the back dusty shelf next to the record player and typewriter. I’m sick of the doom and gloom that many in past generations are expressing against our current generation.
Some people are so focused on everything going wrong in the next generation that they can’t see what’s going right. And believe me, there’s a lot that God is up to in the next generation. Among the “millennials,” as we now call them. It’s true what Psalm 145:4 says: “One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.” Don’t panic. There are millennials still intent on praising God and declaring His mighty acts to the lost. Ministry cannot be doomed because God cannot be defeated.
Okay, I admit: I’m a millennial. I’m a little biased. In fact, this whole series will be biased. I can’t help it. In fact, I’m going to focus this exclusively on the prior generations—Baby Boomers and Gen Xers. And I’m going to address what I see as some deficiencies that those generations have when dealing with the next generation. Now, I know that Millennials have some problems—believe me, we have a ton. But there’s been plenty written about that and about how we need to grow up and face the world with Christ. What’s not been written, at least sufficiently, is how the previous generations can mentor the Millennials, particularly in regard to the ministry.
So, sorry, Boomers and Xers—I’m gonna focus my crosshairs on you. But I hope that everything I say is taken as loving admonition stemming from Scripture and not from a soapbox.
How does a Baby Boomer mentor a young man who feels called to preach? How can the Xers reach out and invest in a new generation with the wisdom of God’s Word? How can the old impress upon the young the compelling call of the Gospel? Those are the types of questions I hope to answer in this series, “Mentoring Millenials.”
This blog series will be different from any other I’ve done because this one is issue-driven. I see a great lack of mentoring relationships between my generation and the older ones. Contrary to the “baby-doomers,” there are indeed a plethora of young men wanting to go into the ministry. The only problem is…we don’t know how to get trained! We don’t have any experience! Though we may not admit it, we’re in great need of some help and guidance. And the way to work through that problem is…by giving every young ministry-minded millennial a Paul.
That’s where you come in. You’re a potential Paul! By that I’m referring to the mentoring relationship between Paul and Timothy, a young “millennial” of that time period. I want to base what I’m going to say not just on my opinion, but on Scripture. And for that, we’re going to have to look at the Paul-Timothy relationship, mostly in 1 and 2 Timothy, but also some in Acts and the other epistles. We may also jump over to another mentoring relationship between Paul and Titus.
So here goes: an open letter from a Timothy (that’s me) to a potential Paul (that’s you). Here are thirteen practical tips for mentoring millennials.
To view all posts in this series, click here.
Tweets by BJUVP