Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the people who have invested in me. Who have been the people who have invested in you? Have there been people in your past who have seen something in you and invested in you so that you could be better? The kind of investing that takes time, energy, money, sacrifice, and many other things.
I have been fortunate to have had people who have invested in me like that. People who put aside their own agendas, their own preferences and did things the way that connected with someone much younger. It leads me to ask the question, “Am I investing in the next generation?” You should be asking the question, “Am I investing in the next generation?”
This question can seem like an easy one and we assume we are doing the right thing, but are we? Are you and I willing to put aside our personal preferences for the sake of connecting with the generation behind us? Are we willing to lose our self in loving others so that we don’t say, “What about me?” but we say “What about them?” It doesn’t matter if you are 88 or 18, there is still a generation younger than you to invest in. The challenge for you and I, and the challenge for the church is quite simple; if we don’t put aside our preferences for the sake of those younger than us, for the sake of those outside the church, then it is likely they will not be a part of our church and maybe any church.
The mission to go and make disciples is an important one, and frankly it is about self-sacrifice of the older, more mature to invest in the younger. One caveat in the church is that older doesn’t mean more mature spiritually and younger doesn’t mean right. This never means a letting go of the message of Jesus, but it does mean not being committed to any particular form. However, if we don’t always think in terms of the next generation we will be one generation from our church not existing. I don’t know about you, but I am willing to do whatever it takes to invest in the next generation and I am willing to let go of whatever preferences I need to let go of for the sake of those coming behind me. Are you?