My old friend, Jerome Ocampo, dropped by my office yesterday. When I first met Jerome in 1984, we were both in our 20’s, both trying to plant churches, both broke and clueless.

We both had big vision and little training. We made up for our lack of experience with faith and zeal. Neither of us knew how to plant a church, but that didn’t stop us from trying.

Jerome is the founder of the Jesus Revolution Now! movement. No one believes in the next generation more than the JesusRev people. I like the way they talk about bridging the spiritual generation gap in their vision statement: “We are a catalyst for the mobilization of two generations to hunger for revival…”

…the mobilization of two generations…

Can two generations really be mobilized together? Can established leaders and emerging leaders really work together? Can current leaders and next generation leaders really lead together?

Or does there have to be a passing of the baton, so they don’t kill each other?

The “pass the baton” concept of leadership transition, where one generation sits and serves – waiting for the “man of God” to transfer his mantle or die – is not what we are after. Since most visionary leaders are never quite ready to retire to South Florida to eat Jello and play shuffle board, they are never quite ready to pass the baton – until one month after their funeral.

I have seen situations where the next generation leader is in his 40’s,
and he’s still considered a “young leader” not quite ready for the big game. He is still waiting for his turn. Problem is that by the time he finally gets the baton, he will have to run with a walker.

Most next generation leaders get tired of waiting. And waiting. And waiting. Eventually they leave, so they can lead. Sad. Two generations should be mobilized together.

Established leaders and emerging leaders are supposed to walk
together. Work together. Lead together. Do life together. Change the
world together. Cross the finish line together.

I know that leading together is the hard way. But the option – losing the next generation – is even harder.

A few years ago I wrote in my Evangelicals Today column about two generations crossing the finish line together. If you want a good picture of two generations running together, check out this 2 minute video. The vid will make more sense after reading my ET column at the above link.

(I fly to Nash in 12 hours. Better go pack & sleep. Will see some of you soon.)