When I was growing up, my father told me something that always stayed with me.
He said: “Every generation must be better than the one that came before it. Son, you must be better than me.”
If and when I have the opportunity, I hope to tell my children the same thing in the future.
Every generation must be better than the one that came before it. Son, you must be better than me.
This high view of the next generation is one that is shared by the following speakers in this article.
We’ve covered much ground through our #Revival1972 series so far, featuring those who were at the Clocktower and all those who came after.
Now it’s time to turn our attention to church leaders young and old who speak to believers even further down the line — our brothers and sisters of the next generation and beyond.
May their voices inspire us to believe the best of future generations of believers, and encourage us, in God’s timing, to empower these young men and women for mighty works unto His glory.
One of the things that has stood out for me in my father’s life, is his passion for the Word of God.
He had a passion for the Word of God because his follow up to salvation was basically to read the Bible from cover to cover — and he did that in a month. And he went on to passionately read through the Bible all his life.
A lesson I learned as a teenager, was when my father was studying in the US and we joined him during the holidays. We went to some conference in San Diego, and like many young people, I was very critical of the guy preaching there.
“What can we learn from this fella? Everything he says, I’ve heard before,” I thought.
When my father asked me what I thought of the preaching, I had all these critical things to point out.
… if the Word of God is spoken, and preached and proclaimed, we can always learn something from it.
But then my father asked me: “John, was the Word of God read?” I said yes. “Did he preach from the Word of God?” my father asked again. I said yes.
My father then said that if the Word of God is spoken, and preached and proclaimed, we can always learn something from it.
Because God’s Word is powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword and shall not return unto Him empty — that’s what Scripture talks about.
So that was a lesson I learned: never despise what is being preached. If the Word of God is proclaimed, if it is read, if it is preached – we can always learn something from it.
I hope that’s something that I have imbibed myself and I hope I can transmit to the next generation as well, this passion and love for God’s Word.
I have a real burden for the younger generation in the church, that they would hear the call and step forward just as we’ve seen the pioneers of the faith done.
Many of the pioneers paid a price because there was a lot of opposition and difficulty in doing what they did. Yet they rose to the challenge, answered the call and accomplished great things.
Not because they were necessarily great men or women of God, but because they were serving a great God — and that God is the same God we serve today.
I would say to this next generation: As Christians, you may feel intimidated. You may feel like, who am I to answer this call? But you are who you are. God has gifted you uniquely.
When God calls men and women, it’s not because of how great you are, it’s because of how great He is. And when He calls us to great tasks, He enables us.
Look into history. Look into the great men and women of God. The great things they’ve accomplished — it’s because they were willing, they were available, they were obedient. They trusted in the call of God and they answered and they obeyed.
That’s what it would take for this next generation to see God do what He wants to do, not only in our nation, but for the sake of the nations around us.
It’s really on my heart for us as the next generation, that we would not be too absorbed into thinking about what we look like in front of men.
That we would not be concerned by whether our ministries or our churches look impressive to people. Or how our attendance looks, how we run our services, or how we run our gatherings. That these things would not be the object of our affection or our focus.
But as we obey the Lord to serve in various capacities, I hope that our eyes will always be on what the Lord is saying: What does the Lord want out of this, even if it means that our ministry does not look impressive to others?
I hope that we would still be faithful to the assignment that the Lord has for us and execute it in in a way that stays true to how God wants us to execute it.
I pray that we will not get caught up with the lights, cameras and even the praises of other Christian leaders — but would stay faithful to the heart of God in all that we do.
All that really comes from meeting God in the secret place, always. So that’s really my hope for the next generation, that we would stay ever so close to the Lord and not let even ministry become an idol to us.
I pray that we will not let even revival become an idol to us. Instead, may we always be seeking after God: Jesus the Person, Himself; the Holy Spirit, Himself.
Let us carry on the same fervour of the forerunners who have gone before us. The older generation has made many sacrifices to see the kingdom of God built up in Singapore and I pray that we too will carry that same spirit of obedience.
That means saying yes to the Holy Spirit however He may lead us even if it means us having to pay a price!
My prayer for the young generation is that you will be open to the move of the Holy Spirit in your life.
God calls, and God may be calling some of you into full-time ministry. And if He calls, my prayer is that you will respond, because God may want to use you to bring about renewal.
We need to be open channels. Sometimes, we don’t think that God can use us. But God can certainly surprise you and use you in ways you never thought possible.
This generation must also have the willingness to let go of things that hold on to them.
We are living in a very materialistic world. And often, we are not willing to let go of what we have or what we think we will have.
And I think some stumbling blocks to the call of God are the pleasures of life, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life.
The call to ministry would demand a certain amount of sacrifice. I want to believe that if you’re willing to make that sacrifice, you will be surprised as to what God can do with your life.
This is my prayer and hope for the next generation: that we would develop eyes of discernment able to see into the unseen; into the hidden corners of society; into the eyes of each person and each soul; to see their need for Jesus to see their need for God.
I pray that we will be able to see into the very soul of Singapore and discern where our nation is heading, witnessing how God is moving within our shores and beyond.
It is my hope that as we see, as we perceive, as we begin to understand — we will begin to develop a loving heart. A compassionate and merciful heart. A heart that looks like the heart of God, one that seeks to rebuild bridges.
May we also seek to develop a courageous heart that moves us to act according to the Word of God, inspired by the Spirit of God.
It’s my prayer that revival will take place within our everyday lives — and the everyday lives of each young person — through the renewal of our minds and the filling of God’s Spirit within us.
My prayer is that there’ll be an entire generation of young people who are so caught up with who Jesus is, how beautiful He is, that they are willing to give the entirety of their life to pursue Him.
My hope for this generation is that they will realise how much Jesus desire them, and that in response to that they will give their entire life to give Jesus what He wants, which is to love Him with all their heart, soul, mind strength and to labour for the kingdom of God beyond their own comfort and beyond their own pleasures.
I pray that they would live a costly life to see other people flourish because this is what Jesus wants — He wants a people who love Him like the way He loves us.
My prayer for this generation is that they will be bold.
I pray that they will speak the truth in love and humility — but they will be bold.
I pray they will dare to say what they believe is the truth and stand by it, just as Nathan did with King David.
I see a lot of hope in the next generation. One particular area that really inspires me and encourages me is their awareness of the plight of the oppressed, those on the sidelines and the margins, and these young believers’ desire to help them.
The younger generation really has a heart for those who have been left behind or have fallen through the cracks. I see a desire in these young people for the Church to reach out to these people — the ones who need the gospel the most.
That is really distinctive of this generation, not just thinking of what we can achieve but what we need to do for fellow men.
It’s encouraging for me. When I was in school, we had to do community service as part of our curriculum and we just did it because we were told to do it.
These days, however, I see a lot of community outreach programs that young people initiate themselves, things like distributing supplies to the homeless and migrant workers.
There’s just so much potential and so much vision that God has given this generation!
I think my hopes and prayers for this generation are that they will recognise that God does work powerfully today.
I pray they will realise that He is real, and that miracles can happen — that they would realise that the work of the Spirit is all around us.
I pray that every young person will feel the presence of God moving so strongly in their own life.
- What in the article stood out to you? What might God be saying to you?
- Name something beautiful about the next generation that you have observed.
- Name one potential pitfall they might face.
- Take some time today to pray a prayer of blessing over someone younger than you.