This message was preached at theHUB conference 2013 in Dubai which is the annual Regions Beyond ( led by Steve Oliver) family of churches gathering . This message was preached by Fusi Mokoena
God is mobilizing the world in a way we do not understand. As we take risks the sovereignty of God comes into play.
God wants to build a church with risk takers- because we don’t know what God will do.
How do we build a multi-generational church that will thrive from one generation to the next? Many movements have come, churches planted, revivals have come- but some of them do not exist anymore or from movements they have become monuments.
Some grand churches in the U.K have been converted to pubs today. Maybe at one time it was a thriving church. What went wrong? My guess is sometimes,, we start well, become successful or you build around yourself or a heresy creeps in. sometimes, its so outward looking but later they start looking inward.
Through history- a church can be birthed in persecution. When persecution stops, the gospel advance stops. What has gone wrong?
They never built well multi-generationally. Often the spirit of the church changes from hunger to satisfaction, from eagerness to maintaining status quo, outward to inward…
Building to God:
Newfrontiers has multiplied to many spheres. Why should we do it?
1. It is Biblical- Moses- Joshua, Elijah- Elisha, Abraham- Isaac- Jacob. 2 Timothy 2:2 says, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others."
2. It requires energy- you will not have the same energy 30 years from now. The generation will give you their experience.
3. History shows us that most churches died because they did not do this
4. For gospel advance- we need to gain momentum. The danger for the younger generation is not to learn from the older ones and the older ones not making room for the younger ones.
Saul started badly, David thrived. Solomon started well and then failed.
1 Sam 15:10
1 Sam 13:14
1 Kings 11:4-6
By the fourth generation the kingdom split.
1. Saul did not raise leaders. It was restrictive and religious. He wanted to kill Jonathan for eating honey and crushed his spirit.
Build a Christ centered leadership. Saul built a monument for himself.
2. David- saw what the Kingdom of God should look like. He trained men- committed. David was a worshiper- a man after God’s own heart- had a heart for the poor. He remembered Mephiboseth. He was building to God and not to himself.
3. Solomon- you now have a nice building. Truth is passed down. before long, Solomon compromised truth and the result he brought the cultures of the world to infiltrate the church. Solomon was wise buyt something went wrong somewhere and the kingdom declines.
What can we learn and what challenges will we face?
This is for us together and local church.
1. Build to God- God raises leaders in the church in his own way. He took Gideon. God equips trains and releases. Christ centered leadership multiplies itself. We need to multiply gifts. The only way we can do that is to hold things lightly and build to God.
Its radical but sensible- it takes risks but is also discerning. The church belongs to Jesus and wants to see it go from one generation to the next.
2. It needs leadership overlap- allow a time of overlap- older generation running with the next side by side for a while. Jesus’ ministry was a ministry of overlap. He trained the 12, the 72. Older generation build and instruct at the same time. Go together. Younger generation- build and observe- learn.
3. You train- we need to build a culture where you train. You don’t stop training. Saul liked victories but did not like victors. Saul did not like David. David built differently. We need to train knowing that one day God will use them in the regions beyond.
Older generation- train someone. Take someone with you. In our churches we have to think differently. We need to train to unleash the lion. We train to release. Men and women, lets invest in training.
Pray leaders in- we need robust prayers.
4. Keep it missional- the only time that Saul and David fought together was when David gate crashed with food and then fought Goliath.
We need to train for mission. If your church has the DNA for mission it will see itself as a multi generational church.
Tom Wright said, “Church is the body of Christ for God’s mission in the world.” When you release responsibility, it keeps it multi- generational.
We don’t like challenges.
1. Older Generations- the spirit of perfectionism. We need risk takers. In Judges- Deborah- in those days, it was risky. God wants to use the ladies. Gideon who was a coward was called a mighty man.
God is not looking for perfection. Jeptha- mother was a prostitute. Samson, David, all had faults.
When we build lets discern what God has put in people. None of us were perfect when we started. Perfectionism can be like legalism. Don’t find faults. Don’t be too structured. It needs to be relational. We need leaders who understand the gospel but we raise sons and daughters.
Paul talks to Timothy- my beloved son. Learn relation ally.
2. Younger generation-
a. Be mission oriented- not consumer oriented. The gospel of consumerism- “Jesus will meet all my needs gospel.” How will you grow if you skip from one church to the next? We are here to build and go to the nations.
Today, it’s all about ‘me’ not ‘you’- ‘Jesus who died for me’. We need to build from an understanding of what has gone before us. Come to be trained, discipled and built into the purposes of God.
b. Contextualize but do not compromise- understand the culture but do not compromise the truth. If we do not build to God we will land ourselves in trouble. Learn from those who have built and labored hard. Wouldn’t it be sad if we go back to what the older generation fought to get away from?
c. Don’t be quitters- this generation has this problem. They want to arrive. They want the platform. When we don’t get it we quit.
Titus (Galatians 2) called by God- Titus started by carrying bags, then a postman. There is a process in growing as a leader. If you quit you won’t see God’s purpose in your life. We need to allow that process. Then he sends him to the Crete. It was a process. If we allow this, we will see something of God echo from the older generation to the next and to regions beyond.
God is calling us to grow from now to the centuries in the future. If we don’t we will be a monument and not a movement.
Let’s go and build a multi-generational church. We have to build differently and think differently because this has to go to the next, the next and the next generations. We can do this!