In 1 Samuel 13:19-22 we see the people of Israel in a dangerous predicament – unarmed and unprepared for battle:
“Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, ‘Lest the Hebrew’s make swords or spears.’ … So it came about, on the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan. But they were found with Saul and Jonathan his son.”
We believe this is a prophetic picture of the dangerous circumstances that the body of Messiah around the world is in today. Our senior leaders have spiritual weapons, authority and anointing; but few of them are putting those weapons in the hands of the next generation. Many have built large churches and ministries, becoming popular and “in demand”. Yet often they travel the world ministering and building their ministry by themselves – without raising up spiritual sons and daughters who, one day, can take over and expand what they have started.
Being a blacksmith is not an easy or desirable job. Few people notice you or your work. It is not a high paying career choice. Who wants to labor in the heat of a sweltering furnace, day after day, in order to put weapons in the hands of the next generation’s heroes knowing that your own honor and glory will not be sounded from the rooftops?
Real Leaders Raise up Other Leaders
The future of many congregations and ministries over the next 25 years depends greatly on senior leaders intentionally equipping the next generation of leaders. If this doesn’t happen, many ministries that are popular today will disappear.
As so-called “millennials” (those born between the early ’80s and early 2000s), we are the “next generation”. We desire to learn how to fight, to lead and to advance the kingdom of God. However a lack of personal, relationship-based equipping seems to be holding us back. We respect our firmly established leaders who have years of experience and success, and the idea of their baton of leadership and oversight suddenly being passed to us either is an overwhelming idea, or we are completely uninterested. This is because before that could ever happen, we want to work together with our senior leaders, to learn practically what they do and how they do it. Even more than that, we want to receive an impartation of their vision, their values, and their passion. Only then, with the right amount of relational investment and practical equipping over the span of many years from our senior leaders, will we be confident enough and ready to take the baton when they place it in our hands.
No Time to Waste
We are moving toward the greatest spiritual battle in human history. The most intense pressures and challenges the global body of Messiah has ever faced, along with the largest revival and spiritual harvest ever seen, are knocking on our door. It is urgent that we begin to put tools in the hands of the next generation and this must become a priority NOW. It will require much time, effort and humility, but we have no other choice. Without the hearts of the older and younger generation turning to each other, we open the door to a global curse (Malachi 4:6).
As representatives of the younger generation, we are asking for your help as the veteran generation. We cannot do this alone, but together we can stop this curse in its tracks and welcome in a new season of righteousness and blessing around the world. We not only need your help; we want it. Will you not answer the call of the most fatherless generation this world has ever seen? Will you continue to pursue our hearts even after we have rejected you? Don’t give up on us. We care a lot more than you might think.
(Note: We are privileged to serve under and together with Asher Intrater. He is a rare senior leader today who is equipping and releasing young leaders with much fruit. The body of Messiah around the world has much to learn from his example in this area.)