The movement will age, over a period of time. In the long run that will sap your vitality. By intentionally raising up young leaders at a consistent rate, you keep your movement on the edge, insuring a longer-lasting impact and influence in the world.
I'm interested in training "twenty-something" leaders because I've reached the stage of life where I want to influence things after I'm dead. How am I going to do that? By writing my life on the hearts of other human beings who are going to be around.
Many Vineyard values harmonize with values of the twenty-somethings. Although they generally hate media labels like "baby busters" and "generation X" I have observed some common elements about this generation. For instance, they are much more relational. To that I say, "Voila!" Isn't that what the Vineyard has always been about! It certainly hasn't been organization. We're always trying to get just enough organized to avoid total chaos.
"Twenty-somethings" - even more than previous generations - are awaiting for a radical challenge. They really do want someone to send them off on a crusade. They want meaning in life. They already know that meaning isn't going to be found by owning a BMW so they don't have to be weaned from materialism to the same degree as my generation.
If our church had its own facility, I would put a great big cross up front because they relate to symbols. Find the people in your church who are under thirty and you'll see a lot of them wearing crosses. I don't think it's an infatuation with symbols for symbols’ sake. I think it’s because they're interested in spiritual reality.
That's a tremendous opportunity. The Vineyard movement has an incredible mixture of pragmatic, relational leadership with a tremendous openness to spiritual reality and power. That rare combination seems to appeal greatly to the young leaders I've had the pleasure of mentoring.
Copyright: 1995 Steve Nicholson. Reprinted from Equipping the Saints, Vineyard Ministries International, P.O. Box 17998, Anaheim, CA 92817 USA.
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