Friday, August 26, 2011

Developing a Multi-Generational Vision

Recently, I have been thinking about how to bring different generations together for the purpose of sharing insight and life together. This afternoon, this article spoke to me in such a way I wanted to share part of it with you. If you are a member of my church, begin thinking about having a Mulch-Generational Home Group this year!

We Must Think Long-Term

Having a multi-generational outlook means thinking long-term. Thinking long-term is difficult in a society that worships speed and efficiency. Many parents cannot wait until retirement to hop in the Winnebago and drive down to sunny Florida. Many of our nation's senior citizens have already done this, proudly displaying the bumpersticker, "I'm retired and spending my children's inheritance." In Deuteronomy 6:2, we read that God specifically tells parents that their responsibility extends to the third generation. God wants parents to see their responsibility as a long-term commitment that does not end when the children leave home or retirement.

Having a long-term perspective is crucial to raising children for at least two reasons. First, without it, many parents surely give up. Second, to produce faithful generations requires us to be oriented to the future, eagerly anticipating how our lives can contribute to God's work in the future. It will be difficult to expect our children to have a hopeful vision for the future if we are reluctant, passive and without hope ourselves. Short-term thinking is a perfect setup for failure. God continually reminds us to have our eyes on the future.

To help keep our thinking future-oriented, the Bible uses the following words: "remember," "testimony," "covenant," "generations," "inheritance," and "heritage". A long-term focus is crucial to persevere through the trials that we all encounter (Philippians 3:13-14; Romans 5:1-5). By thinking long-term, we can have hope. Our children can succeed where we have failed! But for this to happen, we must not let a bad day, a bad week, or even a bad year distract us and lead us into a detour of despondency.

One of the hallmarks of a great leader is his ability to offer hope to those who have no hope. Hope is an increasingly scarce commodity. But our God is a God of hope! As God's children and as leaders, we must share this sense of hope with generations.

� Copyright 2002 Institute for Uniting Church and Home, all rights reserved. The Institute for Uniting Church and Home is a trans-denominational ministry.

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