The Next Generation: Hope for Tomorrow Today

I was part of something amazing this past weekend. 

*Warning* I am about to talk about some spiritual things (I won’t say “Religious” I don’t really like that word and because that word doesn’t describe it at all, but call it what you like) so if you believe – get excited with me and if you’re skeptical – read anyway, you might get excited too.

I was part of a small team that got together out of their love for young people to plan an event. A conference. But it was more than we could have planned. Of course it was – because God showed up in an incredible way – and when that happens it’s always more than you expect.

The conference was called “The Awakening” and boy did it live up to its name! I don’t know if we even really knew exactly what an “awakening” among a handful of youth in this city would look like but our desire was to see them experience something fresh from God – something that awakened their hearts, minds, souls – and I believe that’s what we witnessed. 

This wasn’t a huge conference with thousands of kids – it was a group of about a hundred or so kids – a mixed group from different churches, different denominations, different schools, different backgrounds. But what took place over these two days was HUGE. 

You see – all over the world young people are being told a lie. It is told in different ways, sometimes in words, sometimes by different cultural norms, sometimes by media and our societies, sometimes by our parents and families – but in each case they are basically saying the same thing: you can’t make a difference in the world…yet. It’s not necessarily that we are telling kids that they won’t ever make a difference – it’s that we’re telling them they have to wait. They’re time hasn’t come. They’re not ready yet. They’re not mature yet. They don’t have life experience and education yet. They don’t know enough yet. They don’t have influence yet. They don’t know who they are yet. No one will listen to them yet. I believe this is a lie. 

There were many amazing realizations over the weekend – that I know many young people took to heart – they had those light bulb moments in God’s presence and of course our prayer is that it doesn’t stop here. Our prayer is that they would step out into their world with new confidence because of who they are in Christ, knowing that not only can they make a difference but they can make a difference NOW

I personally believe that young people are this world’s hope. And God wants to use young people to change the world – to bring hope in hopelessness, to bring joy into a hurting world, to bring light into the darkness. And it’s not about tomorrow. 

We hear this a lot: “the next generation – the hope for tomorrow” or “the leaders of tomorrow” or (in the church) “the church of tomorrow.” But I disagree. I have and continue to witness young people – children, teenagers, young adults – being hope today, leading here and now, in the church and in their societies. It’s happening now. And it needs to keep happening. I don’t believe young people should buy into the lie that they have to have certain things checked off on their “life to do list”  – certain criteria met before they can make a positive change in the world. That’s ridiculous! In a lot of ways young people are the ones who can make those changes – the ones who do have that influence. More than adults (those people with all the life experience and education). Young people have certain traits that actually make “changing the world” easier for them as compared to grown ups…

Young people are willing. They’re up for anything! They will take a risk. They will try something new. They will try something that’s never been done before. Maybe they’re not so practical yet – but they are passionate. They’re full of energy and enthusiasm. They’re open to new things, new people, new places. They’re not “set in their ways” yet. They’re more flexible, easy going, free. 

Free. Available. Willing. 

I believe in young people. Can I say that again? – I BELIEVE IN YOUNG PEOPLE! I believe they already have what it takes – many times even more so than all the experienced, educated (boring) adults out there.(Don’t be offended – not EVERY adult is boring ;)).  I witnessed it again this past weekend. So much potential. So much passion. So much excitement. 

When we know who we are,  where our identity is found and we live in that confidence – we can’t remain the same and neither can the world around us. No matter what age we are. And why not start making a difference when we’re young? When we have the energy, the passion the resilience. 

Young people and the young at heart 😉 – the time is now. I don’t believe anything in your life is a mistake or a coincidence. You are where you are for a specific God-given purpose. It’s yours to discover and run with. Know who Christ has made you to be and live in that identity and freedom and you will most definitely be a world changer.

YOU are the HOPE for TODAY.  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. 

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”  The Bible – 1 Timothy 4:12
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” The Bible – 1 Peter 2:9
“And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” The Bible – Esther 4:14b
“I am royalty, I have destiny, I have been set free, I’m gonna shape history.” Song – “The Anthem” by Jesus Culture

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Patroba
    Nov 11, 2013 @ 13:42:05

    Coming up !!


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