The next generation is growing up in a very unique time in history–technology, globalization, and connectivity contributing to their dynamic formation. The global Church spans every generation, and as believers, we all contribute toward fulfilling the Great Commission. I’m particularly expectant that young believers will make their mark on the world as they learn to rely on the Holy Spirit.
As I think about the potential of emerging leaders to make a difference, I’m encouraged to be part of a movement like Empowered21, a global relational network of Christ-followers that also prioritizes building up the next generation. I have the honor to serve as the Executive Liaison for their NextGen Network, which “exists to empower the next generation of leaders in the global Spirit-empowered community.”
This week, Empowered 21 is hosting their NextGen Leaders Conference, and I’m reminded of the outcomes propelling the movement. The community rallies around a common agenda through six outcomes to see the fulfillment of their mission, but they serve as goalposts for all of us who live a life of faith:
Outpouring of the Spirit
Cultural and Social Impact
Reaching the Unreached
If the next-generation moves toward these outcomes, they will have a deeper understanding of God’s Word and relationship with the Spirit, ready and equipped to make an impact in the world. Ivan Illich shares how societal change actually happens:
“Neither revolution nor reformation can ultimately change a society, rather you must tell a new powerful tale, one so persuasive that it sweeps away the old myths and becomes the preferred story, one so inclusive that it gathers all the bits of our past and our present into a coherent whole, one that shines some light… If you want to change a society, then you have to tell an alternative story.”
Young believers, and all of us who walk with Christ, can share the story of the Gospel, of a loving Savior, and of a peace that passes all understanding. The next generation can be a cohort of mobilized advocates to build up the Church. The Holy Spirit is always new and fresh and adapting to the environment, culture, and society of the moment. He will equip the next generation.