I recently engaged in an interesting conversation with several friends at work, two in my age bracket (younger end of the Baby Boomers), and one a Millennial. I don’t recall all the details of the conversation, but it primarily centered around the possibilities in the new year as well as the new decade we are entering. We talked about the kind of world our generation would leave to the next, and how the times appear to indicate we are moving ever closer to Christ’s second coming.
Suddenly I recalled a statement one of my old seminary professors made back in 1998, and I shared it with my Millennial friend in everyone’s presence. I spoke, “Over 20 years ago, my professor declared that he believed your Millennial generation (yes, they were already thus labeled) could see the end times. He stated of you, ‘They will be loved, nurtured, educated, and connected to the rest of the world like no other generation in history. The technology that will be available to them, the opportunities they will be presented with, and the encouragement they will receive, means they very well could be the generation of Christians that takes the Gospel to the ends of the earth, and ushers in the Second Coming of Christ.’ Your generation could potentially fulfill Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:14, with all the new media that my old professor could never have imagined. You may have your ‘hand to the plow’ when He comes back.”
Everyone stood in silence for a moment, then my young friend replied, “For all my generation’s ignorance and immaturity, those of us who truly follow Christ really have a burning desire to change the world. We want to live out and share the love of Jesus with a lost world.”
I thought about that conversation on my drive home later that day. After serving in the local church my entire adult life until 2013, then jumping into teaching and other endeavors, I reflected back over 35 years of opening Scripture to kids and teens, leading young people to Christ, and helping ground them in the faith. It’s been a huge honor and privilege. I know God’s not done with me, but as I prayed for the Christian Millennials around the world, I felt God impress upon my heart, “You did your job, preparing those I gave you. It’s their time now.” Suddenly the image of sitting in the driver seat of a car, sliding across to the passenger seat, and letting the next gen take the wheel while I continued to offer encouragement and direction, came into my imagination.
It’s your time to drive now. We’re here to help, anyway you need us.
Last Sunday Lisa and I stayed home and watched a worship service on TV, from North Metro Church in Marietta, Georgia. A young Millennial pastor spoke, with his skinny jeans and perfectly coiffed hair. He was fantastic, “correctly handling the word of truth” like 2 Timothy 2:15 commands. I told Lisa, “I think the Church is in good hands with the faithful among this new generation.” I subscribe to a blog called http://www.beautybeyondbones.com, the writings of Caralyn, a young New York Catholic blogger with wisdom far beyond her age, coupled with a deep love for Christ. And as I watch our own girls, now 29 and 27, build their lives and futures, I’m filled with pride, joy, and hope.
The Millennial generation often gets quite the negative rap these days, admittedly justified at times, even according to your own. But I see the hope you have, the vision and passion you possess, you 20-40 year old Christ followers. You have the world before you, can connect with people, places and events across the globe now like never before, and hold information at your fingertips like no other time in history. As my generation begins to slide across the seat, we cede to you the steering wheel of the Church, trusting that with all our own faults and foibles, we taught you as best we could, and you’re ready to drive. As my gen used to say, “Put the pedal to the metal.”
The world is getting darker, more dangerous than ever before, especially for Christians. That was predicted; we knew from Scripture the days would worsen. But we also know there will be an unprecedented explosion of the Gospel in the last days, and you have the means and ability to see that fulfilled. Google has mapped the world (something your gen achieved, btw), and you have your map, your GPS so to speak in the Bible, powered by God’s Holy Spirit. It’s your time.
The Second Coming of Christ could very well be yours to witness, first hand. Thousands of generations have longed to see it, and yours may be the one. May you have your hand on the wheel, and your foot on the pedal, when He comes in the clouds.
We love you, are deeply proud of you, and are here for you as you take the lead in fulfilling the Great Commission and Great Commandment.
Offered on behalf of the Baby Boomers