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I Need a Guide (Part 1)

I Need a Guide (Part 1)

DECEMBER 7, 2021  |  11 MINUTE LISTEN
HOSTS: CONNOR OWEN & JOHN RINEHIMER
GUEST:
JUSTIN WILLIAMS 


Listen on Spotify, Apple, and Google

Episode Overview

Oftentimes, the younger generation brings energy and excitement to situations, while the older generations bring the wisdom and experience. How can we bridge that generational gap to use the strengths of both the younger and old generations? Studies are showing that a majority of the emerging generation want and value mentoring, and that includes the Gen Zer in your life. Join us as we talk about how you can pour into the entrepreneurial spirit of Gen Z—guiding them with the wisdom of someone who has gone before. 

Guests

Justin Williams, along with his wife, Debby, and their three children, have served for several years in Uganda. Prior to their life as missionaries, Justin was a youth pastor and Debbie was a teacher—so they both have a heart for the next generation, and that passion for the emerging generation remains today in their work in Uganda. 

Show Notes
Read the Script

Connor: Welcome to The Approach, where we help you walk with the next generation as they seek to use their gifts, and their talents, and experiences to journey with Jesus, and participate in the Great Commission.

On this microcast, we want to give you a snapshot of the next generation, and we also want to provide you with some tools to disciple, and empower, and pray for the next generation, whether you are a parent, a teacher, a coach, a mentor, or a friend.

I'm Connor Owen. I'm joined by John Rineheimer. We both serve on staff at WGM. And John's going to join us today and give us some insights about Gen Z and how we can walk with and pray for the next generation.

Okay, John. Today, we want to talk about the fact that Gen Z is looking for a guide and we believe those listening can actually be that guide for them. As you've been digging into this topic and learning more about it, tell us a little bit about what you're seeing about this role of the guide.

John: Yeah. Well, it connects to the future of what they want to be when they grow up. So, Connor, what did you want to be when you grew up, when you were a kid?

Connor: Yes. I wanted to be the center for the Indiana Pacers and, spoiler alert, it did not work out. I don't know why.

John: That's surprising, because every time we play together you block my shot like it's your job. So—

Connor: It's pretty easy.

John: I would've thought I could've been an athlete, but no, not a pro athlete. So, I wanted to be a pilot but... Interesting: Gen Z, what they want to be, by and large, is entrepreneurs. And they broaden that to include being a YouTuber, which is—

Connor: Interesting.

John: —super popular, if you ask any Gen Zer. And that includes now... So, that includes online as well as brick-and-mortar. And a Gallup poll affirms this. They found that 77% of Gen Z students grades 5 through 12, they want to be their own boss.

Connor: Wow!

John: Probably a lot of reasons for that but... No. Now, you're not going to believe this. So, I'm prepping for this episode, researching, and my doorbell rings. And this kid, this eight-year-old entrepreneur named Eli is at my door, and he's selling donuts.

Connor: No way.

John: He's literally... Gen Z is on the move in my neighborhood. Case in point, this little entrepreneur is selling donuts.

Connor: Okay. So, were you the typical John old fogey who was like, "Get off my lawn, kid!" Or did you just have a soft spot in your heart? Did you buy some donuts?

John: You know me too well. Confession time! Usually, I'm the old hard-hearted guy like, "Get off my, you know, in front of my door. Take your candy and popcorn with you." And usually my wife's the one—they're like, "Is your wife at home?" Because she says, "Yes." But in that moment there was divine intervention in my heart, and my heart was strangely warm like a Krispy Kreme donut. And I bought doughnuts from this kid.

Connor: Wow. This is a first on The Approach: where we blend Wesleyan theology, Krispy Kreme donuts, all into one. It's just a beautiful spot.

Okay. We're done with that. Sorry, listeners, for that digression. But anyways…so, Gen Z has some entrepreneurial aspirations, right? We see that in Eli selling you some donuts. But I think they probably don't have the experience or maybe the education to pull off some of those dreams.

John, how do you think our listeners can stand in that gap to help Gen Z with those hopes and aspirations?

John: Yeah. Dr. Chap Clark has done some good research on this in his book Hurt 2.0. He talks about how there's just not as many adults walking with Gen Z. They're not in Gen Z's lives. They're not investing in the same way as maybe other generations have had the opportunity to. So, the maturing process to adulthood has been lengthened. This, the whole developmental process, is just changing.

And so, when I was thinking about that, it reminded me a lot about Acts 2:17, where it says that the young men or the young people will see visions and your old men will dream dreams. And I wonder if this is a great picture. I think it is, of the generations coming together to build each other up, to work together, not to be separated by the differences and, instead, work together.

And so, generally, I think younger generations, they have new and exciting ideas about how we're going to change the world and take on all these issues and things, and...but sometimes get discouraged quickly, or it's too hard. It's just not coming to fruition in the right way. They don't have the resources, like you said. And now, the passage also says the old generations have dreams. And I wonder if that's in the context of this big picture, that, like, okay, I've seen God move time and time again. He's shown up. They can see the big picture of, okay, here's a short-term vision, and how it fits into a long-term, big dream of God redeeming the world.

And so, the younger generations, I think you've got to be aware when you're guiding them, the temptation is they might get discouraged and give up. But you also have to be self-aware, if you're an older generation going, "The temptation's for me to be critical," and go, "That's not how I've done it before. Like, what are they thinking?"

And so, I think God's going, "Hey, let's bring it together. That's how the body works." The energy and vision of Gen Z with the experience and the dreams and resources of the old generation, and they come together and say, "Hey, let's find the space for us to be that guide for the Gen Zers in our life."

Connor: Yeah, I love that, John. I think it's the image of the body of Christ. And for those of us who are going to be guides, it's going to take a little bit of humility to do things that we haven't done before. "That didn't work one time when we tried it." It will take a new mindset for us.

So, if you, yourself, you listeners, if you want to hear a story about how mentoring the next generation can lead to some kingdom impact, we have a really amazing story.

If you go to the show notes on this episode, we have a link to a story about a young girl who donated $2,000. She saved Christmas money, lemonade stand money, to a school in Uganda, because—

John: I love it.

Connor: —she had some mentors in her life who poured into her. And one of our missionaries, Justin Williams from Uganda, who is just a really fun guy, Justin was the one who told us about this story. So, there's a video, there's a story. You can read all about this and see what being a guide can do to an individual, and what God can do in and through that.

And Justin is with us today, and he is going to pray over us and over Gen Z as we seek to be that guide in their lives.

Justin: From Acts chapter 2, verse 17, it says, “In the last days, God says, ‘I will pour out my spirit upon all people, your sons and your daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions. And your old men will dream dreams.’”

Father God, you have provided guides for all of us. Father, you are so good to provide guides for all of us. As an older man, I would not be doing what I am doing if it were not for the guides that you put in my life. Important it is I see the richness of the blessing of that, and it is greater than any gold that has ever been made. And Lord, I just praise you for that. And I thank you for that.

Lord, there are so many different traps that the enemy will set out for so many of us. And yet, God, by your great kindness, you provide great guidance for us through just different people, through wonderful people, Lord, who had the wisdom and the knowledge of having seen things before and are willing to come alongside and just shepherd and guide and love. And Father, I praise you for being a God that would do that.

Lord, I specifically want to lift up Gen Z today. I want to lift up those that will come alongside them. Father, I pray because I know because I get to see how effective and how powerful Gen Z is, and how they continue to just glorify your name in new ways that I hadn't even ever thought about, Lord. And I praise you that you would just allow us to participate in your plan, God. And I ask, Lord, that as Gen Z continues to rise up, God, and as they continue to come to a time when they will enter into your greatest service, Father, that you would give them great protection, God, that you would give them great guidance and great guides and that, Father, you would just give them your abundant love.

Lord, we don't all need to be pastors. We don't all need to be evangelists because, God, you have a specific design for each and every Gen Z person that you have created. And when they find the fulfillment in you, Lord, and they understand that their call is in you, Lord, there is so much evangelism that will take place. There is so much that you will do in and through them.

Father, I pray that they would continue to catch the fire and the excitement of that as they, in their struggles…would you just show them that you are forgiving, that you are a restorative God, and that you really, really love them in a tremendous way, and that you are not going to leave, that you are not going to forsake them?

And, Father, I pray also that you would provide guides that would stay with them, just as they have stayed with us. Lord, you are an abundantly loving God, and there is nothing, and I mean nothing, like having a life in you.

Lord, would you just... We just lift these things up to you today. We lift Gen Z up. We lift these leaders up, and we ask for great strength and great protection so that your name would be proclaimed to the ends of the earth, forever and ever.

Amen.

Connor: Thank you, Justin, for joining us and challenging us to be a guide to the Gen Zer God has placed in our lives.

And thank all of you for joining us on The Approach, where we help you walk with the next generation as they seek to use their gifts, and talents, and experiences to journey with Jesus, and participate in the Great Commission.

Next time we're going to be talking with Nathan and Cydil Waggoner about identity and where the Gen Zers in our life find them. Be sure to like and subscribe to us. And if you have any questions, feel free to email us at podcast@wgm.org.

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