Have you ever taken time to think about the correlation between water and the Holy Spirit? We are baptized by both. Once by water as an outward sign of God’s inward work of grace and by the Holy Spirit upon being reborn. Both water and the Holy Spirit bring to mind images of motion.
Water is always moving unless it is contained in a still and solid environment. Likewise the Holy Spirit is constantly at work in the world and in individual hearts and lives. Yet, as humans we become and create still and solid environments. We engage in the same programs and activities day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. Eventually, we grow weary or our programs and activities shrink in number of participants and/or leaders.
In thinking about engaging new generations in discipleship, we must remember that even young people age. If you have a few nursery school attendees, soon you will have a few elementary children. They will age into youth who will grow into young adults. Eventually, some of them will marry and have children, and so forth.
Therefore, our ministries must be allowed the same fluidity. When your children or youth out grow one program, be ready to move with them into a new one and don’t stress about setting aside the first program for a time. These are the young people you have been entrusted with right now. Their peers are the unchurched who will most likely be invited. Be ready to receive them and grow with them even when that means changing the way you’ve been doing ministry with new generations.
Prayerfully tap into the fluidity of the Holy Spirit and follow His guidance as you seek to reach new generations at whatever age and stage they’re experiencing right now AND will move into as you journey with them.