In a recent issue of ‘This Old House’ contributing editor Jill Connors wrote that there is a concern in our nation for specialty-trained laborers in a variety of practical skills. Quoting Ms. Connors, “As skilled carpenters, plumbers, and electricians retire, there aren’t enough trained craftsmen to take their place. These are jobs that don’t require a debt-laden four year college degree. But they do require training.”
We are recognizing much the same need in missions these days. Not only do we need those equipped to proclaim the gospel, make disciples, and establish churches… we need teachers and technicians, bookkeepers and builders, medical people and maintenance workers. We need pilots and mechanics and a long array of positions to be filled.
Today’s [Christian] young people are spending large sums of money to pursue equipping for careers they may never embrace. Some will enter the market place doing something entirely different than what they were trained to do. Missions, for the most part, does not require a four year college degree with massive amounts of debt but it does require in-depth skilled training. Whether a church planter or support-role worker, there are many needs in missions. Our current status of positions to be filled number in the thousands.
A gnawing question continues to surface and that question is ‘Why is it that fewer people today are moving towards missions as compared with generations past?’
Currently there are six living generations in America which span a period of more than one hundred and ten years. The oldest person living today is 117 years of age. Wikipedia will tell you that the oldest person who ever lived was a French woman who reached 122 years. Incredible, isn’t it? …But not so incredible when you go to the Biblical record and find one such as Methuselah who reached 969 years on his last birthday. –That’s a lot of candles!
My father is among the elders of the Mature Generation while Joyce and I entered a generation deemed the Baby Boomers only eight years after its upstart. The mid-sixties brought Generation X, followed by Generation Y in the eighties, and now the current Generation Z. I’m wondering where it will go from here.
While each generation rises to prominence within a diverse culture, we are finding that the solid pillars of morality and conscience has declined so rapidly that society has totally abandoned any sense of truth for solid foundations. Those who endear a biblical worldview are those who embrace an understanding that God’s Word is the final authority in all things –that God’s Word is the bedrock of knowledge for absolute truth. Those will be the ones who understand the necessity to make disciples among the nations. I call these individuals Generation NEXT. By the way, we’re looking for you.
That’s right… we are looking for the NEXT GENERATION of people who will carry the gospel to some of the most isolated places on earth to proclaim Christ where there is no Christian witness. Such ones will never come to the nations where the gospel is readily available and the reason they will not come –cannot come, is because they live in remote, never-before-reached-areas of the world. They will never hear the story of God, Jesus, or the Bible unless we go to where they are. –Makes sense that Jesus’ commission to the church in making disciples included the imperative ‘Go.’
Just as ‘This Old House’ editors and staff share a concern about the lack of skilled laborers in the everyday market place, we, too, have concerns and a sense of urgency for laborers needed among the ripe and un-reaped harvest. Since one of the believer’s greatest tools is prayer, we would like to ask you to join us in praying for these needs.