Building a Future

“Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king” (1 Peter 2:17).
These days our graduates take notes on laptops; my graduation was so long ago we took notes with a hammer and chisel! I remember being very idealistic; I hope I have not lost my ideals, just my judgmental attitude.
I was thinking two things: How has my generation done, so cocksure in the late seventies, and how will this generation, our children do? We are stepping into leadership now, politically, commercially, and most crucially, spiritually. Will the Lord’s church have better elders, preachers, and mentors now that the Baby Boom has become the boss? Did we learn any wisdom and humility in the intervening years, and did we ever stop examining the older generation long enough to do some introspection?
Fortunately for us and our world, youth is not easily discouraged. When reality hits, they will still have the zeal and confidence to carry on. Colin Powell once declared: “Challenge young people by having high expectations of them.” They have enormous potential, great reserves of energy, but the future of the church will be determined more than anything else by the character of her children. “We cannot always build the future for our youth,” Franklin Roosevelt one declared, “but we can build our youth for the future.”
So some words from a sadder but wiser Boomer: Love the brotherhood of believers. Respect your elders. It’s still important to speak when spoken to, look people in the eye, and say “please” and “thank you.” Go easy on others but challenge yourself. Get involved in the church. Set your priorities straight. Do better than we did.

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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