Friday, October 04, 2013

Influencing the Generations

Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Psalms 90:1

Before we jump into the Gmail, would you please consider joining us on Saturday October 12 for our Beautiful Day outreach at Fair Oaks School in Redwood City?  Click here to learn more and sign up for a specific project.  Now onto generations…

This morning I prayed for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  This morning I asked God to, through the lineage of Gaddinis, raise up followers of His who would live for the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). Three factors prompted my prayers:
  1. God’s Word: Throughout my personal Bible study of late, I am seeing God’s heart for generations and am embracing that heart. What if our impact for the Lord is NOT just meant to be in our lifetime?
  2. All In: On Tuesday night I gathered with a group of men from PCC for dinner and explored the “Epic” that God has invited us into.  As I prayed God impressed on me a correct alignment of my epics.  Fighting for my character is epic, second only to that is fighting for my marriage and family.  Other worthy epics (for me those would include the ministry of PCC, ministry in the Democratic Republic of Congo, etc.) exist as well, but they don’t trump the first two battle fronts.
  3. Soul Searching: This week, I came across a study, actually the largest study ever undertaken on the spirituality of teenagers which culminated in a book called: Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers authored by Christian Smith. Having four adolescent daughters drove me to the study.
Smith’s research concludes that most adolescents hold to what he calls Moralistic Therapuetic Deism. Google the term for a further explanation but in short, the research shows that contrary to passing on a personal intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, most Christian parents are passing on a god who made the world, isn’t intimately involved in the affairs of people, exists to give us a boost in morality, but is not worth sacrificing or giving one’s life for.  And the central aim of life for followers of this god is the pursuit of personal happiness.

I don’t know why the study impacted me so profoundly, probably because it hit a little too close to home, but it was a wake-up call for me. A call to arms, prayer, and engagement in a whole new way with my God and my family…and with the church.

The reality is that although Anne and I are the primary faith nurturers in our girls’ lives, we aren’t the only ones.  We need (and have in place) a select team of adults who engage them and love them and are there for them. Last night for instance, Bella’s godparents will be taking her to dinner before the Wednesday night Youth Group.  That is a win for them, us and most importantly for Bella!

Call it a mid-life thing, but the reality is that my perspective has shifted and God has given me a perspective through the lens of faith into the generations that follow me, and He has given me the conviction that somehow my decisions today influence generations of Gaddinis that follow.  What decisions are you making today to influence your lineage?

This Sunday we launch our ID series, a profoundly important study for us as all.  I shared last week and will say it again here – you will want to be in the sanctuary for the start of each gathering!  Given all the construction inconveniences around campus please be intentional about giving yourself extra time and park as far off campus as you can.

I can’t wait to be with you on Sunday! I love being your pastor!