We are at a pivotal juncture in history, where the torch of leadership is passing to a new generation. In times past spiritual leadership was handed down from generation to generation. The younger generations recognized the need to glean from the life experiences, wisdom and counsel of the former, thus receiving their impartation, blessing and favor.
In our fast-paced independent culture, we are hard pressed at times to see that kind of mentoring at work today. But, there is a new generation of leaders who not only needs it but also wants it from us.
In the spring of 2004, we hosted a "think tank" and "roundtable" for GenEdge and Emerging Leaders. What started as a small gathering escalated into an attendance of more than 60 leaders from across the nation. It included youth and college ministry leaders, worship leaders, pastors, marketplace ministers, prayer leaders and intercessors, and others. One of the recurring themes was a cry of a generation in pursuit of connectedness and fathering.
One young minister said, "I got saved, was raised in church, backslid, recommitted, and struggled for years because I didn't have a spiritual father." The ministry he now leads is centered on spiritual fathering. "If it isn't relational," he said, "we don't do it."
Another leader mentioned that fathers may recognize the giftings in their children, but may not always know how to go to war for the destinies in them. Rusty, a pastor and longtime friend from Sealy, Texas, puts it this way: "Many times, there is a treasure inside a youth's heart but they don't recognize it, so they run after the treasure in someone else's heart. A spiritual father has to help them see the treasure in their own hearts."
This NextGen and Emerging Generation of leaders are full of vision and passion. In fact, I can see Joel 2 and Malachi 4 in the Old Testament, as well as Acts chapter 2 in the New Testament, giving us a glimpse into this emerging generation. It's a Prophetic Generation of visionary and passionate young leaders, empowered by the dreams and wisdom of the former generation, linked together for the purposes of the Lord.
In the days of Elisha, a guild of prophets and sons of the prophets recognized the mantle of leadership and fathering that was upon him. They found themselves limited, and wanted to go where they could expand and build. They asked Elisha's blessing to go. He was then asked to go with them. When they lost the Axe Head (2 Kings 6:5), they asked him for wisdom and guidance. He simply asked them to take him to where they had lost it.
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