Get the word out. Teach all these things. And don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teaching. And that special gift of ministry you were given when the leaders of the church laid hands on you and prayed—keep that dusted off and in use. 1 Timothy 4:12-14
Good morning, and welcome to this new week of Freedom Fighter blogs. We are so very grateful for you engaging with us Monday through Friday and I pray that our blogs are an encouragement in your walk with the Lord.
Last Monday, I wrote about honoring our Elders. Thanks to those who wrote emails last week. It was good dialog.
Walking through the beginnings of a succession plan for some can be a downer or a discouragement. But I have to tell you that I am really excited on many levels.
One of the exciting things for me is that we have a great group of younger staff who are the future of this ministry. We have the privilege of building into the lives of the next generation.
They think differently than we do.
They are very connected to technology in a positive way and they are wired in a way that they were able to operate cell phones and computers coming out of the birth canal.
They have way more energy.
They have lots of ideas.
They are passionate about wanting to do things that have value and meaning.
They are not afraid to ask for help or advice. They may not take your advice – but they are willing to ask the questions.
They are starved for encouragement.
While their music is different and they may dress differently for church, or they may have tattoos – get a Millennial or Gen-Xer to fall in love with Jesus – look out. They can accomplish things that we could not even begin to dream about.
I grew up in a church where we had lots of older people, and they were great encouragers. But some of them were afraid to relinquish ministry opportunities to the next generation.
But there were some really cool people like Carl & Gertie Shoemaker. Gertie had a kids program for inner-city kids on Friday nights called Kids Korner. We’d have 200 kids out, and they would come to us and say, “I want you to lead the singing for the kids in your area tonight. Can you play the piano for the singing? Will you teach a Bible verse to the kids?
By the way – we were 14 or 15 years old at the time. But I look back on those times as teachable moments.
Bill Winterberg was our choir director. He came to us when we were 13 and said, “How about joining the choir?” There were a bunch of us who joined the choir, and we rubbed shoulders with some really cool adults who loved on us and encouraged us. Mr. Winterberg would encourage me to read, and even when I was in full-time ministry, he’d call me to ask me what I was reading and recommend a new book to me.
I recently reconnected with my Junior High Mechanical Drawing teacher, Mr. James Rhone. I found out one day that he was a Christian, and he wanted to come to our church because he liked “white” Christmas cantatas. He was such an encourager to students. I joined the Facebook page for our Junior High, and there have been hundreds of comments about the impact of his life. He’s 85 and still serving up encouragement and mentoring.
We need to honor our elders. But we need to come alongside of the next generation and encourage them. It’s a great way to honor God and continue your legacy.
Living in light of the gospel,
Bill Welte, President & CEO
Bill would love to communicate with you: firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: Bill has been married to his childhood sweetheart for 40+ years and has four married kids and 12 amazing grandkids. He loves music and is an avid reader.
Think About This: “He who is able to accept everything gladly from the Lord – including darkness, dryness, flatness – and completely disregard self is he who lives for Him.” – Watchman Nee