What Do You Want the Next Generation to Know?
How would you respond to that question?
We recently interviewed members of our SPL family of faith, wanting to know about different aspects of their life experience. Both couples and individuals participated in these conversations, including Brad & Dalinda Gustafson, Chris Schuette, Miles Wright, and Wray & Carolyn Offermann. They took time to share some of their greatest joys, achievements, and challenges, and also imparted some wisdom as they responded to the question, “What do you want the next generation to know?”
As Psalm 78 (v. 1-8) reads, “My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old — things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us.
We will not hide them from their descendants;
we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
his power, and the wonders he has done.
He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands. They would not be like their ancestors — a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him.”
When a generation gets “stuck” inside itself as happened here, the “important” things of life and faith fail to be passed on – the generations to come are not served, are stifled, and become disconnected. The remaining verses in Psalm 78 outline exactly what failures followed as a result of the ancestors not passing on what they should have, not investing in the generations that followed. Thank goodness, by the end of this Psalm, we come to find out that the cycle is finally broken. However, if we’re not careful and wise, we may make the same mistakes.
Pastor Eric challenged us to live our lives with a “Think 3” mindset. He outlined this mindset in three parts:
1. Every generation thinking at least three generations into the future.
2. HONOR the past and SERVE the FUTURE.
3. Live out a vision that outlives you.
One way you can serve future generations is by living and sharing the gospel and by sharing wisdom…just as it says in Psalm 78…we WILL TELL the next generation.
This segment is a highlight of some of the answers shared in these interviews.