// KENNETH W. HAGIN
GOD DESIRES THAT all people from generation to generation come to know Him. How will this happen? Psalm 79:13 (NKJV) says, "So we, Your people . . . will show forth Your praise to all generations." Psalm 145:4 (NLT) says, "Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power."
Every generation is to tell its children about the mighty things God has done. By doing this, the next generation is being prepared to follow God's plan for their lives.
Knowing about God just doesn't happen accidentally. We have to teach children about Him. When our kids are young, we teach them things like looking both ways before crossing a street. In the same way, they have to hear us talk about the things of God, His greatness, and how He has moved in our lives.
Having a Heart for Young People
Young people today face a far different world than the one I grew up in. Today's generation is different from older generations. In spite of our differences, we need to show younger generations support and understanding. It's important that we have a heart for all of the different generations that are represented in church today.
Sometimes older generations don't appreciate the energy of the youth, but I do. If you run with young people, you'll stay young. But if you sit down and do nothing, you'll get old. The more mature generations may have wisdom and experience, but they need the energy, idealism, and enthusiasm of the younger generations.
MALACHI 4:5–6 (NKJV)
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
6 And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.
From these verses, we see the need to have a heart for young people. They are valuable and have a lot to give to our world. One of the keys to generational cohesion is maintaining a young heart. Be young in your spirit. Be flexible. And don't put young people down.
In church congregations today, we can have as many as six generations under one roof. Although we all have different ideas of how things should be, we have to have cohesion with one another. We have to understand that each generation is important and has something to give. And those of us in older generations need to realize that it's our responsibility to teach and be involved with younger generations.
Realize Their Potential
Today's kids need us. They need to see our strong faith. They need to know that we're interested in them as people. There are many young people today that have problems with acceptance. They need to be reassured that they're accepted and that they belong.
Young people don't have to be very old to start contributing to the world.
By age six, Mozart gave piano concerts in Europe. At age seven, Helen Keller, blind and deaf, mastered a vocabulary of 625 words. At age 10, Thomas Edison set up a laboratory in his basement. At 18, Joan of Arc led 3,000 French soldiers to victory in Orléans.
Long before Samuel became a prophet, he ministered to the Lord as a young boy. In the Bible, David was a teenager when he was anointed king of Israel.
There is great potential in young people. They will be the world's leaders in not too many years from now. It's important that seeds of greatness are planted in their hearts and are cultivated and fertilized with the Word of God. Like it or not, older generations are passing and younger generations are taking over.
Show Them God's Truths
The younger generation needs us to show them how to live for God and how to stay with God. Many young people today don't understand right from wrong. They're not taught absolutes in school. They're taught, "Okay, whatever." They believe in tolerating everything, even if it's against God. There is no clear sense of right or wrong and no moral boundaries.
Romans 12:2 in The Message Bible explains exactly what kind of world our kids are living in today and what needs to be done:
"Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you."
Our kids need help in knowing what truth is and how to establish safe boundaries. Because of what we see on TV and what we are surrounded with on a daily basis, we can fall into the trap of accepting what is wrong as right. Yes, we have to love everybody, but we don't love what they do. Society tolerates things the Bible calls sin, and our young people are losing sight of what the Word of God says.
Every generation has to find their own faith. Our prayer is that our kids will have the same testimony that David had: "O God, You have taught me from my youth; and to this day I declare Your wondrous works" (Ps. 71:17 NKJV).
All six of these generations are living in the United States today.*
GI Generation—born 1901–1926
Baby Boomers—born 1946–1964
Generation X—born 1965–1980
Generation Y (aka Millennials)—born 1981–2000
Generation Z (aka Boomlets or the "I" generation)—born after 2001
*The years vary and are estimates.