Influencing the Next Generation - By Allan Yoder

During the past months, I have been dismayed by the example that persons of influence in our country are giving. The behavior of the leading political authorities in our county during the impeachment process, followed by the state of the union event was dismaying. From the news reports, the halftime entertainment at the Super Bowl was not what we desire to teach our children. There seems to be a scarcity of influential adults who set the kind of example that will build up our children.

What are the adults who influence our culture thinking?

Recently I went to a High School wrestling meet and later to a youth Bible quizzing match. The youth were disciplined and respectful. Each one was competing for their own wins, but their wins were part of the team totals. And, team members encouraged each other, no matter whether they won or lost! Each of those young people certainly had a positive influence in their lives.

I am encouraged when I see our children and youth encourage each other to excel and look out for each other. After our 18-month-old grandson missed daycare for a week, his toddler friends came around him calling his name when he returned. That’s the way little children are! When a teen taught for the first time in youth group, the rest of the group applauded. That’s the way to build each other up!

I’ve noticed that stories of youth behaving badly often have poor influencers lurking behind the story (or sometimes they are front and center). Those stories can get national attention.
But, we are called to influence the next generation in ways that will lead them to God’s best for their lives. We need more persons like Hilkiah who mentored Josiah, the Godly eight-year-old king (2 Kings 22; 2 Chronicles 33-34). Or like Jehosheba who raised Joash, another Godly boy King (2 Chronicles 24).

Those who invest their lives in the next generation truly have a high calling! As they invest in the next generation, God’s blessing over our children will be obvious to everybody wherever they go!  “For I, the LORD, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing. I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering and make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants will be recognized and honored among the nations. Everyone will realize that they are a people the LORD has blessed (Isaiah 61:8-9 – NLT).”

By Pastor Allan Yoder,
Hopewell Network Apostolic Leader