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Inheriting Generation

Inheriting Generation

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Published by John Fehlen
Moses & Joshua. Two Generations. Both necessary.
Moses & Joshua. Two Generations. Both necessary.

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Published by: John Fehlen on Sep 30, 2009
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09/29/2009

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The Inheriting Generation
“But your assistant, Joshua, will enter it. Encourage him, because he will lead Israel to inherit it [the Promise Land].”
Deuteronomy 1:38At the beginning of the month I, along with so many others in our church, were readingsystematically through the Book of Deuteronomy. As a part of our ongoing devotion to engageGod through His Word, we continued to plow through the fifth book of the Pentateuch. From thevery onset we come to discover and understand that Moses
will not enter
the Promise Land butthat his assistant Joshua indeed will.This morning, in a hotel room in Canada, I finished up the Book of Deuteronomy and began anew adventure in the Book of Joshua, only to be reminded that the words spoken by God year’sprior are coming to pass:
“Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land…”
Joshua 1:2The raising up of a new generation of leaders is so important. The Gospel is worth propagationand therefore always requires a fresh infusion of life and vitality that comes from the future of our movement: our young people.
Dead but not Forgotten
Notice the text:
“Moses my servant is dead…”
(vs. 2). In no translation or paraphrase does thisdenote that Moses is no longer to be honored or esteemed for his incredibly valuable contributionto the Kingdom. All throughout the Book of Joshua we read of a blessed man that led theIsraelites as far as God would allow. In no way are we given permission as Christians to speaknegatively about our forefathers and those that have paved the way for the next generation. Ibelieve, though, that the greatest form of honor is to
partner
with them by investing in those thatare emerging into leadership.
Encourage those Emerging
Moses was told to
encourage
Joshua his assistant. Does the emerging generation get yourencouragement or do they only receive your chastisement and ridicule? Are they perceived onlyas slackers, wannabe’s, usurpers or rebels without a cause? If so, it’s unfortunate, because Goddesires to manifest Himself through this emerging generation and I believe he wants to use us asHis hands of consecration and commissioning.In the New Testament, Barnabas was known as the “son of encouragement.” In other words, hisname denoted his nature. His designation was his demeanor. Acts 11 records just one of manyexamples of Barnabas’ encouraging spirit and this time it involved a young, upstart named Saul.We know him now as Paul the Apostle. I often wonder if he would have ever became a
Paul 
if it
 
wasn’t for the encouragement of Barnabas and the interest that he took in the “long-shot” withthe dicey reputation.How many potential
Paul’s
are there within our sphere of influence that are trapped in theexternals of 
Saul 
– complete with a history; recognized as a troublemaker; and misunderstood bythe populace? Can we be an encourager of those that are emerging? I believe we can and hereare but a few ways to do so.
1. Step Back
On a recent flight from Montana to Seattle I did something I don’t normally do. I tend to beprone to sickness so I rarely if ever look out the window. However on this particular flight mystomach was just fine so I risked a glimpse of the Seattle/Tacoma skyline. What I discoveredthrough the small window was nothing short of incredible. I could see just about everythingfrom my vantage point. It was beautiful and expansive.I wish I had that kind of perspective in leadership matters. Rather than spouting off a reply to thelatest “crisis’ I would love to have a long season of hovering at 80,000 feet in order to formulatemy position and deliver it with wisdom and discernment. That opportunity is often not affordeduntil after the fact. Like they say: “
 Hindsight is always 20/20.”
As a leader, try taking a
step back 
to survey the landscape of the emerging generation. What doyou see? Ask the Lord to give you both a historical and a prophetic look into the expansion o thebroader Kingdom. We have been on this earth for such a brief time and when we are gone whowill take our place? Have we made room for those individuals to grow into their leadershippotential? Have we taken a
step back 
to get the perspective necessary to embrace and release theyounger generation into valid and vital ministry? Often, this perspective is catalyzed through thememories of those that paved the way for
our
entrance and reception into ministry circles.
2. Step In
To become an encourager to the emerging generation one must take the initiative. The gap thatexists between our
 philosophy
and our
 practice
is in our desire to actively step into thatimportant role. The first point of action is to
recognize your role
in leadership expansion. I’mforever grateful to those that embraced their responsibility to mentor me in ministry. I am one of many that are forever changed because of their investment.Secondly,
realize their potential.
It may not always be as obvious as we would like but with alittle work and a whole lot of vision the potential of the next generation will make itself apparent.Are you looking for it?Lastly give room for their emerging gifts. Did Paul take a chance on Timothy? You bet he did!There are many other
Timothy’s
in the wings with the gifts and abilities for vibrant ministry. Bystepping into this place of encourager and releaser, the next generation will sense the strengthand support needed to boldly move ahead.

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