Generational StrategiesLesson 7 - our spiritual dna
Our Spiritual DNA
(Psalm 139:14) DNA is the code that determines so much of our natural life.
The Uniqueness of Life
DNA is our blueprint for life. We each have inherited twenty-three chromosomes from our father and twenty-three chromosomes from our mother. Out of over seven billion people on planet Earth, there is no one exactly like another. The mathematical probability that we would receive the exact same chromosomes as someone else is one in one hundred trillion. We are one of a kind.
The uniqueness of our lives is easy to find. Look at our eye print. No one has the same pattern as the iris of our eyes. Look at our fingerprints. No one has our fingerprints. The same is true of voiceprint. We are uniquely made.
And the same is true of churches. There are no two churches exactly the same. Each pastor and members of a church have unique gifts and talents. Each church is created by God and the people who attend them. They are uniquely different.
The Stability of Life.
DNA helps us to reasonably predict the future. Because we have learned from past experiences what makes people happy or angry, we are able to act accordingly. This helps to create an atmosphere of stability. We say, “He’s like his father,” or, “She’s like her mother.” This is a good thing. It helps us create a stable atmosphere where we are able to live productive lives. This is one of the reasons we are careful around strangers. We don’t know their DNA and don’t know how they will respond to us. This is also one reason we try to avoid storms. Storms create an atmosphere where we don’t know what is going to happen. We try to avoid such environments because they can quickly become dangerous.
The Conflict of Life.
But people don’t always do what they should do or what we expect them to do. People fail. What happens when we experience one of these negative times in life? We naturally revert back to our DNA, or we could say, we revert back to our comfort zone. Everyone has DNA, and during the uncomfortable times of life, we all tend to return to what we know or where we can reasonably predict the future. In difficult decisions, we go back to where we are comfortable. We make decisions based on our previous experiences.
The Renewal of Life.
We must not despair about our past. We can learn and change. We call this being born again. (John 3:3) We must mix new DNA into our lives to change our future. This is what makes relationships with different generations so important: grand-fathers need grandsons, and grandsons need grandfathers. There is a natural connection that blesses both generations.
A wise elderly pastor told his congregation, “I cannot be your future, because I am your past.” In the same way, because the grandfather was once a boy, he can see himself in the child and knows many things the boy will face in life. The grandfather will never be a boy again, but he understands what it is like to be a boy.
Thus, wise grandfathers have earned the right to be respected. But grandfathers must also understand their limitations and trust a younger generation. They must remember they have made their own share of mistakes. How can we trust someone who has not been tested? We must trust God! The same God who helped us will deal with a younger generation.
This is why we must intentionally bring a younger generation into leadership. These young ministers should have our DNA in them. If we promote them into ministry, they will help the church experience a rebirth.
We cannot extract the DNA out of our bodies without killing us. We cannot change our past, but we can learn from it. The same is true of churches. When we radically change the DNA of a church, we kill it. But we can mix the DNA of a younger generation with the DNA of an older generation, and a rebirth naturally takes place. In the same way, a young couple gets married and begins having babies; this is a positive way for a family or a church to change.
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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.