Why Consider the Next Generation?

As a pastor, it is always easiest for us to think of those people and issues that are right in front of us. The people who sit in the pews each week and engage with our sermons the most become our target audience. The issues that come from those that ask the questions most often and those that speak with us after the services always rise to the top of our list.

However, if we want to have a legacy that goes beyond our current influence then we must consider the next generation. Sometimes it is difficult to consider the needs of the child in the sanctuary because we are focused on the needs of the senior adult. Sometimes it is difficult to think of the high schooler because we are thinking about their parents. But it is clear that the work we have set before us is to serve the next generation of leaders and todays.

Paul knew this, and it is why he charged Timothy “what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2). Paul understood that Timothy could not just think about his own current ministry but needed to think about those that would follow after him.

So that begs the question for us as pastors, How am I equipping and encouraging the next generation of leaders at my church? May I suggest a few ways you might consider a greater engagement with the next generation.

  1. Include pauses in your sermon to specifically engage with the children in the room – actually say “Hey Kids” draw their attention.
  2. Make it a point to speak with a child and a student every week before or after the service.
  3. Begin a discipleship group of young adults that you can meet with for six weeks to discuss biblical matters.
  4. Help older church members engage with younger church members through fellowships.
  5. Change your schedule every once and a while and teach the students on a wednesday evening.
  6. Invite a child to say a prayer during a service 
  7. Invite a student to preach a sermon.

There are many more ways. But consider how you can be a part of considering the next generation of church leaders.