This weekend our pastor preached on the roles of people in different generations, such as Caleb and Timothy. One is from an older generation and the other from a younger generation, but both played strategic parts in expanding God’s kingdom. As we reflected on the message, we realized that our ministries, as well as this blog, coincide with the idea of a Caleb and Timothy generational model.
Matt (Caleb): I see my role as a “Caleb” as not just that of mentor and encourager but also as helping the next generation to equip themselves for their role in God’s plan. Not long after Steven and I started this website I found that other younger student small group leaders would come to me for advice with a problem or something as simple as, “How do I build a solid trusted relationship with my students?” While I was flattered that they came to me, I also knew that my life experiences and my career in law enforcement had shaped me for what I was doing now. It was no accident, God had spent years sharpening my skills. He was just waiting for me to use them for the Kingdom.
I also see my role as helping the next generation to not make the same mistakes and mis-steps that I had made. I want them to learn from my experience without the trouble and heartache I had experienced. This is when I realized that a lot of what I went through had a purpose and I could use my mistakes to help others. In my encourager role, I need to help the next generation to keep going when they think they can’t go any farther, I need to help them not give up on a student that they think they have tried everything and nothing is working. My role is to keep an open mind and help them do the same.
Steven (Timothy): As part of the Timothy generation, I play a similar, yet different role. As part of the “younger” generation, I play a part in the church that is an effort to expand the kingdom. While the Calebs have taken on a role of responsibility and mentoring, Timothy’s are the beneficiaries of that mentoring and encouraging. We are being poured into by the Calebs, and in turn that enables us to use our creative and outside-the-box thinking to benefit God and the church. Our energy is also something that propels God’s kingdom forward.
In a ministry sense, Timothy’s are every bit as important as Calebs. The older generation has a ton of life experience and wisdom about certain situations that Timothy’s don’t always have, but there’s a benefit to youthful energy, especially in youth ministry. It’s not the total package by any means, but it does help relate to students and show that just because you’re showing them God’s design for their lives, you can still relate to them on a personal level.