Every missional movement, or any movement, must continuously be relevant to the next generation (18 and below). The only way to ensure that the future will continue being molded by a godly people, is making sure that the next set of godly leaders is coming from the youth. Without this, our impact will always be limited to our life, instead of our potential legacy. This missional impact must include reaching the Unreached, as they themselves account for more than 40% of the planet. And while every Unreached People Group has been adopted multiple times by various organization, movements, and leaders, to see this task accomplished will require the next generation to take hold of it, and not let go, until the mission is finished.
In this text I will discuss common problems between reaching the Unreached when it comes to multi-generational topics, solutions, and future goals.
Bridging the Gap Between Veterans and Next Generations
There are still more than 5 million people considered from Unreached People Groups in the Philippines. And while participants in engaging the Unreached in the nation has doubled since COVID-19 Lockdown began, there is still much more potential for more forerunners. Where I see a vast majority of this potential is in the next generation.
The Philippines is more than 50% under the age of 21. Meaning there are millions of potential disciples that would be an amazing force of love towards those that do not know Jesus. Some of the obstacles are as follows:
- Less than 15% of the emerging generation knows what the Great Commission is. Conversely, 85% of the next generation have no idea how to actually be effective in the mission of love God has given us to those in need of faith, hope, and love. Therefore, effectively teaching what the Great Commission is comprehensively in such a way that the next generation can take hold of it and run is one of the first keys in unlocking this potential.
- Another obstacle to overcome is commitment, endurance, and long-term engagement lacks in the emerging generation. The emerging generation has been called a “microwave generation”. Meaning, if it doesn’t come fast and easy than I don’t want to do it. Another obstacle is a YOLO (You Only Live Once Mentality), meaning wisdom and Kingdom prioritization can often be replaced with a secular “bucket list”. Not that personal dreams are bad, but as Ecclesiastes teaches, do what you want in your youth, but know that you will be judged for everything that you do. Meaning, in the end what will really matter is Lord’s will not our personal dreams (Ecc 11:9). The solution begins teaching and aligning the personal dreams of the youth, with the dreams God has for their maximum potential. While this is messaging it is also mentoring.
- A lack of mentors is the final problem in engaging the youth to the greater goals of the Kingdom. As I grew up a fatherless generation was a more common term, however now it is become a fatherless and motherless generation, and in a lot of cases a “familyless” as well. Statistically and personally I can see the impact of broken families all around me. Therefore, making sure that where the missional youth movements are catalyzed, knowing that developing a family and mentorship environment will be key for the long-run of the plan of reaching the unreached in the Philippines and the decades to come.
In our Campaigns we have always strategically used felt needs (physical) to reach into the real need (spiritual) of individuals through various means. A highly successful effort has been found through Arts, Entertainment, and Sport predominately with the youth of the country, including family units). We also found that this is effective in open communities and persecuted communities. Regardless of culture, young people still look for the same things, family, community, and a safe place for them to grow and harness their gifts.
No matter how strategic a program can be, family must come first. That is why while collaborating with multiple organizations, churches, and movements, the first emphasis of success that we prioritize is a family culture and value system. Anything, that goes against developing a spiritual family amongst the ministry and outreach will ultimately inhibit the larger goals. While some individuals and groups do not put this at the forefront of their missional work, we have found many that naturally do. Sometimes it just becomes a conversation of focus for it to really take off and start gathering momentum to the next catalytic milestone of impact.
Helping with the Next Step
One of the great joys of our work in Impact Campaigns is allowing the Holy Spirit to provide wisdom through uniting relationships and common goals. We have found that as you place like-hearted leaders together, with different gift sets, and understandings, that the Holy Spirit can bring to surface something in community and collaboration that would not otherwise be there individually. Being able to take part in this local, regional, a national singer and convening is a great reason why we continue doing what we do with such passion. Knowing the Holy Spirit is there whenever we come together to work on His Kingdom, gives us great assurance that we will be able to serve His will to fullest of our capacity and all of our partners.
How Does This Apply Internationally?
There are over 80 organizations working towards collaborating with Overseas Filipino Workers and church planting movements amongst the Unreached, predominately in the Middle East. However, this movement has yet to enter into the common life of a young person. Again the same strategy of engaging the youth is still imperative. Studies have shown that the 4-14 year old age window, when 70%-80% of all decisions to follow Jesus are made, is still effective amongst different religions. By maximizing this opportunity, training properly and effectively, we can see a tremendous impact.
However, for this to first occur, there must be role-models that are developed and mentored in the next generation first. This is why discipleship and family plays such an important role in missional movements. We can only do so much unless we take the young ones with us.
Everything begins with prayer. Wherever there is a dull or doubting, or ignorant heart, prayer and the Word of God can set that heart ablaze. Praying for the Unreached regularly is a major priority before the next steps can come into play.
Taking initiatives where there is no initiative is out “apostolic” destiny that Jesus left us to go where the Gospel is now. If we do not see and “movement” then we must take initiative to make it happen. Even it begins with friends and families, and overflows to like-hearted spiritual family we never fellowshipped with before.
Lastly, diligence and focus is important to complete the task at hand. We cannot “find rest” or get comfortable with our status qoue until the mission is accomplished or done. As soldier puts away civilian affairs that may district them from the ultimate goals of Christ Jesus, we too must do the same (2 Tim 2:3). Putting away what keep us distracted is the first step in developing laser beam focus for the things of God.
Our true reward is in heaven. We must live for eternity not for the age we live in now.