Generational Transference in the Bible: Convergence of Biblical and Theological Themes

Generational Transference Passing
(Continued from previous posts.  This is the final summary of the Biblical Foundations portion of my study into Generational Transference of Ministry Leadership in the Local Church…)

A survey of Scripture suggests a plethora of methods and strategies for transferring ministry across successive generations.  Leaders, the Bible teaches, are entrusted with the role of equipping successive generations to serve the Lord.   As has been noted, the keeping of commands, the patterns of family teaching, the reminders of community celebrations and sacrifices dominate the generational structures of the Pentateuch.  Alternatively, the exemplar and equipping-provisional role of the kings, priests and prophets are evident in the historical books, even if not always practiced.  In the Psalms, the passions of praise, of pure hearted devotion, and of authentic transparency of the soul serve the spiritual formation of Israel.  The impetus of making disciples characterizes the Gospels.  The Great Commission distinguishes the Acts of the Apostles.  And the planting and equipping of multiple generations, with young leaders, elders, and various approaches to ministry leadership via the context of local churches illustrates the rest of the letters of New Testament.[1] 

Biblical study does not indicate that there is some kind of cookie cutter church formula into which every new generation needs to be shaped.  It does, however, teach that every generation is responsible to enable the next generation to enable the generation after them to enable the next, and so on.  And it does teach that leaders who equip the generations should personally stand first and foremost on a solidly formed spiritual character.  Equipping successive generations involves a relational teaching that begins with character founded in Jesus and committed to his mission for the church. So in North America today, the directive for generational transference of ministry is the same as it was for Old Testament and New Testament churches.  Churches have an inherent mission of equipping the next generations to embrace and spread the Gospel founded upon godly character.  Throughout history, from generation to generation, the story of God will resound.


[1] E.g. 1 John 2:13-14; Hebrews 13:7; 1 Thessalonians5:12

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