Category Archive: generations

Raising Up Next Generation Leaders

Hey Friends,

Hey leaders, if you’re over 45 years old it is your job to raise up younger leaders for the Kingdom! If you read the ministry of the Apostle Paul you will see him pouring into many younger leaders. If we do not do it, the Church will be in serious trouble. Many denominations and churches have failed at this point and realized it only after it was too late. If we do not make room for them they will find another place to serve the Lord! More churches than we can count have made this fatal mistake.

Both the aging and the younger leaders come at this with a bias. Older leaders look down on the younger and the younger do not respect the experience and wisdom of older leaders. Younger leaders feel left out and disrespected and older leaders feel they have to hold all the keys. Both are wrong.

I was reading the story of Solomon’s death and the rise of his son, Rehoboam, to the throne of Israel. You know the story and it is very revealing in this situation. As Rehoboam was crowned King, the people asked for mercy from him. He asked the older counselors for their advice and they told him to show kindness. He asked the younger men what they thought he should do. They told him to be harsh! He chose the advice of the younger men. As a result, 10 of the 12 tribes revolted and divided the Kingdom.

He was the rightful King and yet his inexperience and lack of wisdom divided Israel. This is a great illustration of how both generations are required if we are to move into the future with great leadership.

So, older leaders must make room for the younger and the younger must listen. The older leaders need to listen to the ideas of the younger. The younger leaders are usually more in tune with the culture. If we are to remain relevant we must listen. That does not mean we do everything they want. If they know they are loved and respected they will respond with the same love and respect.

Paul told his young protégé not to let people look down on his youth. The Church should reflect multigenerational leadership and membership if it is to be strong and viable for the future.

Just a word from the Word.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

P.S. At Faith Promise we are strategically making room for the next generation at every level and in every ministry.


Next Generation Leaders are Looking Good!

Hey Friends,

I am fired up about the next generation of leaders I get to watch and even help. There was a time a few years ago when I had a bad attitude about young adults. I had to repent of that and now I can see much more clearly. I am sure the same complaints we have about them are the ones our parents had about us 40 years ago. I believe God is raising up what could be the last generation of leaders, as Jesus could come soon.

If He doesn’t come soon, God has His hand on thousands of young leaders who have a passion for Jesus and His Kingdom. I remember Drew Wells telling me I needed to “roll the dice” and give some “newbies” a chance. Peyton Manning was given a chance. He still holds the record for most interceptions from a rookie Q.B. Now we wonder if there will ever be a replacement for him. Every generation wonders if new talent will emerge. I am sure it will.

Jesus is still building His Church and as such, He has to keep calling great young leaders. There is always a new Timothy looking for a Paul. It is our job to help them and give them a chance to shine for the Savior. Look around, do you see any Timothys? They are all around. Our stage at Faith Promise is now full of young adults using their talents and gifts for our Lord. It is so cool to watch.

What door can you open for a young leader? Whom can you help? At Faith Promise we have three young couples getting ready for the mission field and I could not be more excited. We have had several couples head to the field, but no young couples. God is still calling and we must make room for them, their gifts, ideas, and radical love for Jesus.

I have decided I will spend the rest of my ministry raising up young leaders. How about you? Let’s not drop the baton in the race for our Lord.

Just a thought.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

P.S. I hope some young leaders take advantage of the new coaching network I am starting.


Thoughts About Reaching and Leading the Next Generation

Hey Friends,

In the next 3 years half the population of the world will be under 21 years of age. It will be the largest population block ever. If we want to reach them and lead them, then let’s get serious about what they care about. “Build it and they will come” is not true anymore.

First, they want you to be authentic. If you fail at this you will probably not get a second shot. So with this in mind, at Faith Promise we call it raw and real. We deal with it like it is and they love it. Hell hot, sin bad, heaven sweet, God good – they will hear it all if you do it real. Fake will fail. Real is the deal. They may love their video games but don’t play games with them. Shoot it straight and they will respond.

Technology is part of their lives. So, to go to a low or no tech church won’t cut it. Most of this group have never known a world without the web and Wi-Fi. They can have a virtual friendship and it can be real fellowship. So, at Faith Promise we offer online small groups for Bible Study and fellowship. It may not be fellowship to you, but it is to them. When we try to cram our outdated methods on them and call them biblical, they will bust us every time. They are too smart for that to work. For us “older” folks, let’s not try to make our PREFERENCES biblical mandates! Styles of music are preferential, not biblical.

One other thought – you’d better be doing something for the poor and marginalized. If you say you love Jesus and you don’t care for the underprivileged, you will be busted and left behind. Most of this crowd seem to care. This means social justice and compassion ministries had better be front and center.

Just one more: this group will not wait around for 20 more years to get to the table. They will create their own table. Many 20-somethings are starting churches all over America because we have made no room for them in our leadership.

I just realized in the last month that I was 23 years of age and I had been saved 9 months when I was asked to serve on the church staff. I am grateful the pastor gave me a shot. We have to give young adults a shot to make a difference and to learn to lead and serve.

Let’s reach them for Jesus.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

P.S. This is the week for our Nashville LIT Conference on Thursday. See ya there.


The Next Generation

Hey Friends.

I was having lunch with a friend, @jaystrack, and he gave a statistic I had not heard before. This is not normal since I am a numbers guys at heart. He said that in four years, half the population of the world will be below 21 years of age. That was a shocker. He went on to tell me that we in the church have seemingly forgotten the generation.

It is easy to sit and criticize the young adults. I’m sure our parents did the same thing to us. I know I have been guilty of it.  Let’s not make the same mistake and not use them to the best of their ability. “They don’t want to be a part,” you say. Let me give you a quote I read this morning in the book, The Art of Possibility. The author was dealing with young adults. He said, “…the first thing we should notice is how few meaningful roles are available for young people to fill. Then we might see how, in the absence of a purpose greater than themselves, adolescents retreat to the sidelines as though their existence were inconsequential.”

We “older” leaders of the church have to make room for the young adults – the millennials and students – if we want them to participate and be ready to receive the baton we are about to pass to them. It is our job to walk with them and help them see the importance of the church in the culture and to be ready to lead it.

Paul prepared Timothy for the baton to be passed to him. What younger person are you working with? By younger, I mean below 30 years of age. Today, working with someone younger means a person in their 60’s working with someone in their 40’s or 50’s. If we ignore the young adults and students, then they will ignore us and possibly the church.

Leader, this is your job! Will you take the responsibility?

Love ya,

Pastor Chris


Ministry is Measured in Generations, Not Gimmicks

Hey Friends,

I wanted to leave you with a leadership thought for the weekend. This concept is hard for me because I live from weekend to weekend, from sermon to sermon. I measure my life in giving and sermon series. It can be hard for people like us to look too far into the future, but look into the future we must. I call myself a visionary and yet I don’t spend enough time thinking about succession and ministry that is sustainable.

Ben Stroup challenged me with a thought: “Will the babies you dedicate today be able to worship in the same church under the same name 15 years from now? This is not someone else’s problem, it is ours.” As a matter of fact, this is my problem as it plays out for Faith Promise Church. Jesus said, “I would that you bear much fruit and that your fruit should remain.”

Spiritual leaders are really measured not only during their own tenure, but by what happens after they leave. Our commitment should not be just to the organization, but to the Kingdom of the living God! This outlook forces us to consider the coming generations, not just what is right in front of us. As leaders, legacy should be on our radar screens.

As I pray and think about this, it will cause me to change some things in our strategy and structure. It is not about me as the Senior Pastor, but the people I serve and the generation to come. It affects everything we do! I see some awesome and committed young adults chomping at the bit to advance the Kingdom of God. If Jesus tarries His coming, we have some great leaders ready to set it up.

What needs to be changed around you? Are there young leaders near you that you need to pour into? That is what the great leaders in the Bible did!

Hope this helps.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris


Legacy – A Forgotten Lesson!

Hey Friends,

Legacy is written about a lot, but thought about and acted on much less! I am not trying to be morbid nor do I have a consuming thought of death, but I realize that the race will be over for each of us sooner than we think. I just turned 50 and I can see the end of the ministry and this leadership race.

Yesterday my father-in-law was diagnosed with cancer and the same day a lady that used to play in one of our bands at church was killed. Life is short here on the cursed planet. Every day is a gift from God and should be lived to the fullest. Because of this we must make succession plans for our leadership and for the groups we lead.

Elton Trueblood wrote, “We have made at least a start in discovering the meaning in human life when we plant shade trees under which we know full well we will never sit.” I have watched many of my leadership and ministry heroes leave great organizations without any thought for the future. Some just walked away and let thriving ministries close! Not good leadership.

When I was in Israel I visited Yad Vashem. It is the Holocaust museum and is a must visit. Never have I been more moved as that day. There is a street in honor of the “Gentiles” who helped the Jews during this horrible time. For the famous ones like Corrie Ten Boom or Schindler, they plant a tree. This tree will give fruit after 30 years. It is a selfless tree. It is known as this because if you plant one you know you will never eat of the fruit. You planted it for others.

That is what we need to do for the next generation, for the church and for ministry. Far too many leaders hang on until they are too old. The church loses its focus and momentum, and the great leader leaves as the church is dropping like a rock without a plan for succession.

Let’s do better!

Love ya,

Pastor Chris