"We need new architects to design interconnected approaches to faith transference." – David Kinnaman, You Lost Me.(1) In this insightful book, Kinnaman explores how we can follow Jesus – "and help young people faithfully follow Jesus" – in a drammatically changing culture. (2)
I like this idea… and lets go one step further.
To "faith transference" let's add leadership transference. Kinnaman suggests that we need new designs, new paradigms, new architects who will shape the patterns of transference of faith in the years to come. In order to do so, we need to release the younger generations to have a dramatic voice in these new ecclesiastic-environmental structures.
We are trying hard to transfer faith… and we've been trying hard for years. But too often the programs of one generation's attempts to impart faith fail to equip the ability of the next generation to impart faith. We may succeed in the impartation of the biblical stories and judeo-Christian mannerisms (and we seem to be less and less successful at that), but we have not necessarily been successful in the impartation of the ownership or proactivity of faith.
The next generation needs to know more than the truthful foundations of faith… and they definitely need to know more than the generational/cultural framework of their parents' faith systems. As Kinnaman rightly suggests, the next generation needs to be empowered to relay, in their context, the practice of faith to others (so that the generation after them can be empowered to relay faith in their context).
The next generation needs to be trained and given opportunity to lead. The next generation is more than a recipient of God's good news… it is also a participant (with God and other generations) in the proclamation-equipping patterns God established throughout history. We must do a hand over… of faith, certainly, but also of power. This is Generational Transference— faith & leadership passed on for successive generations.
(1) Kinnaman, David. You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving the Church… and Rethinking Faith (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2011), p.13
(2) ibid., 12
Thanks for the note, Rachel. “As adults, it is our responsibility to empower youth and children.” – Great statement! And you’re right… it is the example of Jesus that sets our path.
Love it Ken! This giving up of power and leadership is exactly what Christ did- although he was God, he poured himself out for us. As adults, it is our responsibility to empower youth and children. Then the really hard part–stepping out of the way to let them lead.