Generational StrategiesLesson 5 - kingdom conflict
“I have written unto you.” There were three levels of maturity to whom the apostle John wrote. These three groups were “little children,” “young men,” and “fathers.” They speak about different levels of spiritual maturity. One of our main goals in life should be to continue growing in maturity and wisdom. When we stop growing we start dying.
The area of your greatest strength is the place you’re most likely to be misunderstood.
- Little Children – What is the greatest strength of a child? It’s his innocence. Jesus said, “Unless you are converted and become like a little child.” (Matthew 18:3) But the innocence of a child is easily misunderstood as ignorance. Instead of seeing the purity of his spirit we see his lack of understanding, and in doing so we fail to place value on the child.
- Young Men – What is the greatest asset of the young man? It’s his strength; his energy. But if we’re not careful we mistake his energy for rebellion and by doing so we devalue the young man.
- Fathers – What is the greatest strength of the father? It’s his wisdom. But it’s easy to mistake his wisdom for criticism and fail to recognize its value and how much it is needed in our lives.
We learn the most from people who are not like us.
We should intentionally surround ourselves with people who are different than us. This is the way we keep growing to reach our God-given potential.
- Little Children – The child has innocence but lacks strength and wisdom. What’s the best resource for strength and wisdom? It’s with young men and fathers. We should make the decision to build strong relationships between the different generations to compensate for our weaknesses.
- Young Men – The young man has great strength but has lost his innocence and doesn’t have the experiences which will give him wisdom. Where’s the best resource for innocence and wisdom? It’s the little children and old men. By building good relationships with children and mature men the young man can compensate for his weakness.
- Fathers – The old man has wisdom but has lost his innocence and strength. What’s the best resource for innocence and strength? It’s the little child and the young man. The wise man should build strong relationships with children and youth to compensate for the things he has lost.
We all benefit when we are properly connected.
We must become generational thinkers. Jesus spoke a lot about generations. “An adulterous generation.” (Matthew 12:29) “A wicked generation.” (Matthew 12:45) “This generation” (Matthew 23:36 and 24:34)
We must become generational thinkers in order to fulfill our God-given destiny. We cannot fulfill our destiny alone. We need the help of the younger generations. Becoming a generational thinker requires deliberate decisions. It won’t happen accidentally, but only if we make the intentional decision and act upon it.
“Better a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who will be admonished no more. For he comes out of prison to be king.” (Ecclesiastes 4:13-14) It’s more difficult to live these words than to read them, because Solomon, the wise king who wrote these words fell into the same trap.
The old man may be the king but he’s running out of time. The young man may be strong but he’s in prison and lacks the resources to fulfill his dreams. The old king has the resources. Both the old king and the wise youth need each other. It’s only when they realize how much they need each other and work together in harmony to fulfill God’s purpose that they can overcome their conflicts. Together they can have a prosperous future but without the generational understanding, they’ll waste their time fighting each other.
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About the Author: Dr. Dale Yerton
Dr. Yerton serves as an overseer of a network of churches across the world. What began as a network of six church groups representing 500 churches in Mexico has grown into an international ministry.
He and Evelyn, his wife over fifty years, live in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. They have two daughters: Lora–married to the Rev. Vince Farrell, pastors of Journey Church in Hopkinsville, Kentucky–and Kari—also of Hopkinsville–and are the proud grandparents of Emma and Bennett Farrell.