Andrea John, Aglow Germany President and her Germany National Board planned their June 2018 National Conference around the theme of bridging between the Generations. Anna Gibbons, Aglow’s Generations Director, was a speaker at the Conference and they gave her this vision for their Conference below.
"Since taking over the leadership of Aglow Germany, I have been wondering together with the national board about our specific mission at a time like this. There are many Christian women's events in our country, which have become very established in Germany within the churches and communities. Aglow was a pioneering effort back then, but now many have walked in our footsteps. What a blessing!
"We are sure that we are still called to a new pioneer work in Germany. We are experienced in prayer, in evangelization and in building bridges. And it is in our spirit and in our hearts that we at Aglow could become a model in serving God together with different generations. The most churches I know are leaded and inspired by one generation (youth OR middle aged OR older) – and the same is in our Aglow groups. Most of the members are middle aged or older. It is our desire to change that and to win the younger people to come to our fellowships! We would love to work especially as a community of different generations, not in separate groups. As bridge builders we have to know, what is at the other side of the river.
"Anna shared a message about how to build a bridge into the lives of young people and Andrea John and her daughter-in-law, Sarah, shared a message on Naomi and Ruth. We are sharing the notes below of their encouraging messages. Be blessed as you read and ponder how God can use you to bridge the gap between the generations.”
Building a Bridge into the Lives of Young People
Characteristics of the younger generations/Millennials:
- Millennials want to be a part, want to have a voice and be heard.
- Appreciate the simplicity of the gospel: Love God, love others.
- An awareness that the world is not a safe place.
- Appreciate people that are genuine, honest and they can talk openly with about controversial issues.
- Always being sold something and have access to lots of information but look for experiences.
- They are inspired by people they can relate to. Self-expressive. Very Diverse. Love creativity and innovation
- Millennials crave relationship. Connected so much through technology but still want deep, meaningful, personal relationships. Connected but lonely.
- We are the generation with the highest ever percentage of fatherless homes.
- Care about social injustices. Cause driven.
- Need to feel valued and what we spend our time on has value.
All throughout the Bible, you can see how the Generations walked together
- Abraham, Isaac, Jacob – the importance of blessings, laying on of hands
- Moses to Joshua - leadership and wisdom
- Elijah to Elisha – passing on the mantles
- Naomi to Ruth – Ruth 3:1 “My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you?”
- Mordecai to Esther – purpose, have you not come to the Kingdom for such a time as this In every genealogy
- Jesus and His disciples – pouring into a team
- Paul and Timothy - mentorship, on the journey together
5 Important Keys to Building the Bridge into the Life of a Young Person
1. Love – unconditional and steadfast
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
In my country (Latvia) what brings young people back to the meetings is the love that they feel, because they can’t find that on the streets and sometimes at home. Rebeka Sastakovika – young Aglow woman in Latvia
2. Relationship - open, genuine and safe
Sonship between the Father, Jesus and disciples - John 15:15-16 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in my name He may give you.
What drew me into Aglow was relationship. Aglow ladies took time to talk with me, listen and pour into me. You gave me relationship. You helped guide me to relationship with the Father so He could heal the wounding of broken parenting. –Jenn Yezik
2 Timothy 1:5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.
The older generation took interest in me and didn't judge me on my lack of knowledge of the Bible or infancy state of my walk with God. They kept inviting - just like Jesus always said "come". I feel the invitation to go to meetings gave me those opportunities to grow more. I've always appreciated the invitation to have a voice. – Kate Hilliard, Aglow young lady from TX
Psalm 145:4 One generation shall praise your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts.
Treasure to impart. The value of your story and of your nation’s story. You have something to give.
How have the older generation built a bridge into my life? By their testimony and their testimony only. If I see in them the life I aim to have: family, finances, health, happiness, character, etc. Testimony can go places in the heart where words can't. - Miguel Zepada from Aglow Gen. El Salvador
Deut. 34:9 Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the LORD had commanded Moses.
Encouraging in gifting, sharing in passions
I came to aglow at 13 with my mum. I had someone sit with me in meetings explaining what was happening. They took time to teach me and gave me jobs to do. Encouraged me to share my thoughts in a meeting. Make me feel valued as a daughter of Christ. Recognized that I can hear from God too. Respect should go both ways up to grown-ups and down to young people. - Heather Barclay, young Generations leader in Britain
The Family trees of Karl and Paula Bonhoeffer are everywhere so laden with figures of accomplishment that one might expect future generations to be burdened by it all. But the welter of wonderfulness that was their heritage seems to have been a boon, one that buoyed them up so that each child seems not only to have stood on the shoulders of giants, but also to have danced on them. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
(Part 1 | Part 2)