This week, I’m in Texas in TFN meetings and spending time with my wife as she speaks at the “Among Friends” women’s’ conference hosted by Pastor Scott and Marsha Hoxworth in Killeen, TX. It’s great being with friends and partners in ministry, watching leaders impart faith to the next generation. Even though we pastor different churches separated by hundreds of miles, it’s amazing to see the same Gospel be passed down again and again from generation to generation. We truly serve an amazing God!
When we invest in the next generation, we are often preparing for a future that we will never see. One day, the kids in our youth groups will be in our young adult ministries. And the young adults will one day have families of their own. And those families will eventually launch their own kids and experience middle age. Eventually, we will all be replaced by the very people we are currently loving and ministering to. Given enough time, the least mature person in your church or ministry could become the most mature. They could even become the next lead pastor!
In Hebrews, the author references the heroes of old and their great faith in the future blessings of God. Abraham moved his entire family to a strange land, having been promised a blessing that would be enjoyed by his descendants. Noah built an ark, and in doing so laid the foundation for all of human civilization to come – a world he would not live to see. Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt and through decades of wandering in the desert, only to finish his life right before entering the promised land.
When we pour our lives into the ministry, we are planting in a field that we may or may not be around to harvest. But the generations to come will always be the beneficiaries of the labor we endure. Just as we are the beneficiaries of the great men and women of faith who came before us.
We must always ADVANCE towards the future – regardless of the timeline. Who knows how your faithfulness will echo into eternity? As the author of Hebrews says, “(we) desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one.” The rewards of our faith are always eternal.
Hebrews 11:13, 16 “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar. (Verse 16) But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. ”
PS. There is no better way to ADVANCE than by gathering together as ministers of the Gospel. We are busy making preparations for our annual international gathering July 4-6 in Scottsdale, AZ. Save the date on your calendars and make arrangements for travel. We will be sending out formal registration information soon. Stay tuned!