4 Ways to Reach the Next Generation

With two gatherings over the new year that attracted 40,000 young people, God is stirring among millenials and teenagers. Here are 4 ways you can minister to the next generation. (Flickr)

This time last year, I stood on a stage in front of over 25,000  teenagers and Millenials and God downloaded a burden to reach them. I immediately enlisted the over-50's group at World Revival Church, where we prayed for the young adults for a few months. We were also encouraged to mentor and reach out to that age group.

I heard statistics showing that the 30 and under generation on the planet was a fatherless and motherless generation. As I broke out in spontaneous intercession that overcame me, the Holy Spirit spoke to me, "Will you be a mother to them?" I answered yes and wondered what that meant.

The following weeks I considered helping out with campus-type ministries. But as I sought the Lord, He laid a simple plan: Pray for the Millenials in my life every day. So every day I prayed for Millenials around me and God opened doors to influence them in an unexpected way.

I found that whatever age you are, you can influence the younger generation. Here's how you can influence them towards their destiny in God.

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Pray for them. Pray certain Scriptures over that Millenial in your  life. I prayed for a young man whom I've watched mature in the faith. That night I had a prophetic dream about the young man. In the dream, a man named Calling was looking for the man who was taking a test. I told Calling that the man was taking the test. Calling told me, "Tell him that this season is over. A new season is starting."

When I shared this with the young man the next day, he was blown away by the accuracy of the prophetic word. The word was exactly what he needed to hear. I don't normally go around giving prophetic words and believe me, I don't consider myself a prophetess. But this dream was so crystal clear that it was impossible to dismiss.

Support their dream. The Lord opened a door for me to help a group of young teenage guys start a band for a season. My son, Alex, was the lead singer. God swiftly opened doors for them to minister. Although my son left the band, they have 2 songs on iTunes and a professionally produced music video. I allocated hours towards supporting their dream of reaching people with their music.

I was recently involved in another music video project with another group of teenagers and young adults. My 2 sons, Chris and Alex were also involved in that project. My heart was to open doors for them and show them what they could do with their talent. I wanted to show them how they can do what other people think is impossible and remove the fear of stepping out.

That music video received over 4,000 views in 1 week on YouTube and news coverage. The video was the headline story in my town's newspaper. I believe that this generation has the technological means and platform to swiftly sweep the planet with the gospel.

My desire is to support them with the tools, the open doors and the opportunities to get the job done. I wish every able-bodied adult with connections and resources would take the time to invest in the next generation. My pastor, Steve Gray, sets a great example by doing this over and over again. I've never met anyone, besides Mike Bickle at the International House of Prayer or Pastor Louis Reyes with Sidewalk Sunday School, who has opened doors and created a platform for teenagers and young adults to grow in their gifting.

Let them fail. The fear of failure kept me from starting a business for many years. When God broke that fear off my life, I realized there was an entrepreneur in me. We must create a safe place for  them to fall down and get back up again. While we don't expect them to fail, if they don't get the results they thought they should, we need to teach them that this is not the end of the world.

Jonah looked like an utter failure in his ministry after he fled God's calling. God sent a big fish to adjust Jonah's course when he fled his mission. God could have left Jonah as a failure but He aggressively worked to restore Jonah's calling.

Abraham, who slept with Hagar, looked like a failure. Instead of leaving Abraham in his failure, God still provided a way for him to fulfill the promise on his life. Over and over again in the Bible, we see where God stepped into man's failures and brought redemption.

The band didn't work out for my son, Alex. I didn't hold this over him like that was the end of the world. Instead, we adjusted his direction in music. The other guys in the band are extremely talented, and I know God is opening doors for them.

Spend time with them. Take them to a restaurant that they can't afford to eat at or invite them to your home. There's no substitute for your own time and money. Be a mom, dad, aunt, uncle, grandma or grandpa to them. Adopt them into your life.

When I first became a Christian, a beautiful godly woman whom I admired took me under her wing. Patty was the church secretary and she spent time with me. I had a lot of rough edges, but the fact that she spent time with me showed me that I had value. I fought feelings of being worthless and hopelessness. Patty showed me that I had value.

Patty dramatically changed my life. I changed the way I dressed, the way I talked, whom I spent time with and how I spent my time because of this godly woman's influence. Today I would not be here if it wasn't for that time she spent with me and the effort she made to reach me.

I urge you to invest in the next generation in front of you. Whether you're raising teenagers or a young adult, or you have them in your life, set some time aside to pray for them. The challenges and battle they face is unlike what my generation faced. May God give you a burden like He did to me a year ago to cry out to God for this generation.

Adapted from Keeping It Real by Leilani Haywood. Leilani, editor of SpiritLed Woman, is an award-winning writer and frequent contributor to Charisma. Follow her on Twitter @leilanihaywood.

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