I’m not old, but I remember. I am aging, so perhaps in some minds that is “old”. I subscribe to the “sixty is the new fifty; fifty is the new forty” mantra. So come on, knees, get with it!
One of the great things about some age is that any one of us can say, “This is not my first rodeo.” We remember some things that should prompt us to pray for the many younger pastors and others fulfilling their calling in Christian leadership.
Because of the nature of this post, I will not call names. And really, names are not the point.
I am grateful to God for the younger faces I see in the streams and photos from the recently concluded Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting. I have not been privileged to attend an annual meeting for many years, so I follow on-line and through twitter.
God is so good to us. There are young men rising from their generation that God is empowering to build great Great Commission churches. Many are in demand as speakers at almost any conference. Some are edgy in their delivery. Others have shaped their message to be a bit more smooth. Almost all are radically in love with Jesus.
Thus the issue. Are you praying for them? In Hebrews 11 fashion, time would fail me to tell of the many who were heroes to myself and others while we were in college and seminary that have fallen. For some, their pride was so severe that it appears God gave them over to themselves and they became casualties. Others had moral issues surface. And some, through no fault of their own were taken by disease and accident at an age we would call “premature”.
I believe it is well within the bounds of Scripture to say that the enemy is seeking to destroy the lives and ministries of any who serve God. One does not have to be on a large stage with a watching SBC world. Satan’s minions are everywhere and Paul reminds us Satan himself is disguised as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14). Jesus said the thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).
As I watched the streaming of the SBC and read The Southern Baptist Texan and Baptist Press, I was reminded of many who were my generations heroes when we were younger. They are the aging statesmen. Some have retired, others are retiring. I also saw the younger pastors typically profiled at the preaching events.
I was also reminded of several who could have been among the aging and retiring statesmen. Some have been taken in death. Others made shipwreck of their faith and ministry through sin.
1 Peter 5:8-9 exhorts, “Be sober! Be on the alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him, firm in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are being experienced by your brothers in the world.” (HCSB)
Let us thank God for these wonderful men and women whom He is raising to lead another generation to radically serve Jesus. And let us continually hold them up in prayer.
Baptists are by and large “list pray-ers”. So let me encourage you to make a list of some names you know. They may not be national names. Some may be. But make a list of younger men and women who are called to Christian leadership and pray for them on a regular basis. Ask God to bring into their lives those whom they will respect as accountability partners. Ask God to grant them protection from disease and sin and/or any other thing the enemy would bring into their lives to distract and discredit them. Pray for their humility. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. And pray their Sabbath time – their times of solitude with the Lord – will be valued and frequented by them.
They may never know of your prayers. But God will. And the Kingdom of God will be strengthened. Remember Ezekiel 22:30? God was seeking for one to “stand in the gap” in intercession. Let us not fail to be one of those, to the glory of God!