Life is not like 100 meter sprint run which is starting from one point and ends at another point. Life is like a relay race run. We receive something into our hands, we carry it through our life and we then have a responsibility to pass it on to somebody else who comes next.
It's hard to measure your success while you're running. It can be measured only when you've placed the baton into somebody's hands. Our success is measured in the next generation.
There are Businesses and political parties, their leaders did a great job. But they mess up the hand over to their successor. So those Businesses and political parties are collapsed when next leader take over the ownership.
Every generation has the potential to positively change the course of history.
In the relay race, we set the next runner up either to win or to fail. It is the same in every single areas of our life.
We can do all that we can do to set the next generation up to win or we can do the opposite and get stuck get lost in the race. As a result whoever picks up the baton next has to deal with the hand effectively that they've been dealt by us.
There is a connection across the generations that we really need to be aware of.
The next generation either builds on the successes of the previous generation or it pays the price.
Your courage/sacrifice/determination will set the next generation up to win. In opposite, If you fail to change your bad addiction/habits, your next generation will suffer the consequences of your weaknesses/failures.
A faithful generation enjoys God's favor protection and provision and then the next generation comes along and builds on that blessing.
When we're running the race and we drop the baton, faithfulness is a thing that we decide I'm not going to give up at this point, I made a mistake, things went to wrong, I'm gonna own that mistake, I'm gonna grab the baton again and I'm gonna get back in the race and I'm gonna expend myself fully to get myself to the end of the race.
Faithfulness is not a limited and temporary affair. It's a consuming and lifelong commitment because of the impact that it has on the next generation.
Every one of us has a part to play. In Bible, David was called to be a man of war and his son Solomon is called to be a man of peace. David has to live out his calling in order to Solomon to be able to step in to his calling.
If you don't do what you are called to do, your next generation can't do what they're called to do either.
Succession is not a moment in life, it is a way of life.
Seven points that we can embrace in order to set the next generation up to win.
1. Live Faithfully
2. Fulfill our calling
3. Champion their calling
4. Provide sacrificially
5. Equipping them well
6. Release them to lead
7. Follow them passionately
How to be truly successful...the power in succession
We're in in freedom church right now in a series called regeneration.
We've been thinking and talking about the fact that there are generation to generation and we're part of this kind of generational sort of flow that goes on and we get to choose about what we carry in our lives and what we pass on to the next generation..
In my life, I've noticed that I will spend time thinking about what success is? I want to be successful in my life. I don't think any of us set out in life to be an unmitigated failure and to do really badly.
We all say, I want to be successful but you may have noticed that success at times seems like a moving target.
There are different ways of measuring success.
An easy way of measuring success is material success. I'm successful if I have a certain amount of money in my bank account, If I live in a certain type of house, If I drive a certain type of car.
I saw somebody tweet this week that they failed their A-levels but they have a really nice car therefore they're successful. It was encouragement for all the students out there around the world that struggled in their a level results.
There are status measures of success. When we switch on the TV, we see the whole celebrity culture and this sense that if you're on TV, If you're a household brand then you've attained a certain level of success in your life.
We would all say that actually the media also makes us aware that some of the most are well-known people can be some of the most unhappy people in life.
So that's not look like success.
So let's just talk about happiness for a minute. I was listening to the radio a few weeks ago and somebody was being interviewed on the radio and this person said I had a great dad he told me in life just do whatever makes you happy.
I thought the time that's terrible advice. If I did whatever makes me happy, it would be an absolute disaster.
There's something about happiness being important. But some of the most important things that you have to do in life necessarily make us happy. They may cost us something, they may cost us at times, measures of happiness.
We as a church recently we have this thing called The Cave, it's a gathering of our people of our locations from around the world. This year, we talked about eternity.
I think we introduced more into the conversation, eternal measures of success. The whole idea that for each of us we live a life and through that life we store up treasures in heaven. That's an interesting measure of success.
Today, I want to talk about something that connects him with this regeneration series which is the idea of generational success.
I want to think about the whole concept of succession.
This is my definition of succession that we live from generation to generation. All of us live a life that passes something on to the next generation, all of us live a life that receives something into the next generation. Succession is that idea of from generation to generation there's kind of a passing on and and a following on from what's gone before.
Life is not a sprint run:
I was thinking about the fact that many of the measures of success in life treat life like it's a sprint.
If you were running in a sprint, you would start at the starting blocks and you'd run a 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters.
We can treat life like a sprint that we start it and we end it and the only thing that really matters is what we achieve between those two points. For example material wealth, status, happiness. It treats life like a sprint but I don't think that life is anything like that.
Life is a relay race run:
I actually think that life is more like the relay race.
The reason that the relay race was such a dreaded thing was the fact that the relay race wasn't like a sprint. I mean a sprint it's hard to mess up the start of the race, you can't really get it wrong, you just have to run in a straight line, run round the corner and cross the line, easy job.
But not with the relay race. It involves particularly if you're somewhere in the middle, number two, number three you're having to receive this into your hand from a fast moving object under great pressure and all eyes on you. It comes into your hand and then having figured out, how you're gonna catch it from this thing that's charging towards you, then you have to run really fast, you run all the way there. If that's not enough, you then have to put this in the hand of another person who asks you approach them starts moving as well it's a very complicated affair.
I think that's much more how life is. It's like a relay we receive something into our hands, we carry it through our life and we then have a responsibility to pass it on to somebody else who comes next.
What I realized in my short-lived relay career is that firstly in the relay you don't know how you have done until you have released the baton. because it's very easy to receive the baton. You have to run like Usain bolt but in slow motion and then have put this into the hands of the person in front of you or have to dropped it on the way, you can mess up that moment of transition where you can put it in their hands and they start running.
It's only then when you stop and you look and you say how are we doing in the race.
It's hard to measure it while you're running. it's only when you've placed the baton into somebody's hands.
I think our lives are this way as well. This is something applies to the whole of our life, but it also applies to the seasons of our life as well. If you've had a job in a workplace, for example you may have been the best person ever to have done that job. But if you mess up the hand over to your successor, it's gonna reflect upon how well you've done your job. People are gonna say you know they did a fantastic job but when it came to handing over, the way they passed on the baton really messed it up for everyone. So there's something important about the way that we we transition.
Our success is measured in the next generation:
This makes life a lot more complicated. If you're measuring success by your bank balance, you have an actual number. But if we're measuring our success in the next generation, things are getting slightly more complicated for us.
The second thing about the relay is how we receive? how we carry? and how we pass on the baton? are matters.
We have to be conscious of and thinking about this through our life. It's not just that we can have a short season of success, have to be thinking about and engaging with this stuff all the days of our life.
As we receive things into our life and as we pass things on through our life as well.
I think succession matters because our lives have a generational impact.
We can say that I don't want to have a generational impact, I'm gonna kind of get halfway through the race and I'm gonna duck out of the race and I'm gonna stop at that point that has as much a generational impact.
As running all the way, running fast putting that the baton into somebody's hand and then they move forward.
If I was in the relay for example and I was running number three and I received this and I get halfway along and I think well I'd ever wanted to do this anyway, so I just sit down, I grab it and I throw it over their heads. I can say well that was the end of the race. Nope, that wasn't the end of the race.
The race continued but the line that I was in, the team that I was a part of those that came after me suffered the consequences of my handling of this baton.
Recently, I went to see the new Mission Impossible film. New Mission Impossible film is absolutely fantastic as an action movie but I noticed when I read some reviews about the new Mission Impossible film as people said that it's the best Mission Impossible film Yet. But it's always gonna get measured and weighed in comparison to the films that came before. I just want to say it is actually fantastic you know because it builds on the story line, it answers some of the questions, some of the characters from the old film reappear in the new film, and it resolves what happens in their life.
But it's a great example of how whether they like it or not the makers of that film it's always going to be subject to what has come before. It's always going to be compared to what has come before as well and the question we were all asking as we left the cinema is hey what comes next?
Think about it succession in families. My wife and I are committed to wanting to give our kids the best start in life.
You want to give your kids the best start in life. But if you give your kids a good start in life and then the rest of life absolutely sucks for them. You can't stop. aren't you? As parents, you can say okay what could we have done differently? that's not to say as parents we're responsible for the decisions that they make.
They have to make their own choices, they have to go their own way. But there is something about that as we invest in them. As parents, we want them to go further than we've gone in our lives. We want them to be happier, we want them to achieve more, recognizing that in a sense their ability to become all that God has called them to be reflects upon the way we've set them up in life.
Succession matters to all of us. Think about it in church, you know it's a massive discussion in the church world. You can have a great leader of a church movement and they can lead a church to be thousands strong and achieve great things. But if when others take over from where that leader finishes up, the whole thing crashes and burns. Everybody stands down, what was it about their leadership? they didn't set up the next generation.
I really want to make the point that doesn't matter what we're talking about or looking at in life succession matters.
I used to work for an organization that helped people who had started their own businesses and had done very well. People who maybe worth 50 million pounds, a hundred million pounds, 500 million pounds.
What we found when we did some research is the biggest concern that those business leaders had was not the continued success of the business or competition. It was passing on leadership of the business to the next generation. These were family businesses and the business leaders has done really well. They were looking at the next generation going, what happens if I pass over this business? and they screw it all up, they make a mess of it. There's something about succession it matters to all of us.
I lived in the country where they'd had the same president for about a 30 years. One of the things that were said about this president that he felt that he was the only one who could lead the nation. As there were elections that he won over and over again. You couldn't help but think hey you may have brought this nation together, you may have built this nation for a number of generations now, but what comes next is really gonna be the defining measure of your success. Because if the whole thing crumbles what does that say about the way that you led? succession matters to all of us.
I think succession matters to God as well. It's an outstanding feature in the Bible. The Bible records the story of Jesus in four books Matthew Mark Luke and John. The first of those Matthew opens with what's called a genealogy of Jesus. It records the generation to generation succession that comes before Jesus all the way back to a man named Abraham 14 generations from Abraham to David recorded.14 Generations from David exile, 14 generations from exile to Jeep to Jesus.
There's something about that record, it's saying and what comes before the passing on succession, the baton from generation to generation is important.
God's sending us a sign in that. Look at how Jesus lived out his own ministry. He had no wife, he had no children yet there was something about the way that he led that his group of followers, went from a small handful of people into the hundreds, into the thousands, into the millions, into the billions.
Throughout his life, Jesus was meeting people like the Legion, the man he met on the shores of the lake, who was so troubled and so broken. What does Jesus do? he heals him, he fixes him up and then what does he say to him? go out. Be a missionary to the Decapolis, to the ten cities, go reach the Gentiles in this region.
Jesus was so good at succession. Succession matters to all of us and I believe that succession matters to God.
So we're going to look today at what I believe the Bible has to say about succession. There's gonna be a slightly different message then that we're gonna be thinking about the big picture of the Bible as much as we're thinking about some specific verses in the Bible.
There are two really important themes that I want to bring to life. Just a warning the two themes that I'm gonna pull out at big fees, they're weighty themes, they're heavy fees but I want you to stick with me as I pull out these themes. Because I really believe there's something in this for us, for our families, for our jobs, for our workplaces and for our church as well.
Every generation has the potential to positively change the course of history.
Theme number one every generation has the potential to positively change the course of history.
The really interesting thing for me about the Bible is the Bible paints a picture of a relay and not a sprint. You look at the Bible, it's all about the relay.
The Old Testament is this fascinating work that takes us from creation to just before Christ. It helps us track the history of a people group through many many generations and through that period of history. That's actually an amazing thing to be able to do. What you see in that tracking is, you see trends that emerge and I think the trends that we see in the Old Testament are just as relevant to the world that we live in today.
The basic trend of the Old Testament is this, the way you have good leaders and willing people, there is blessing, there is positive blessing on the nation on God's people. Where you have bad leaders and an unwilling or a rebellious people there is a consequence that comes upon the nation as a result of the decisions that they make. It plays out right the way through the Bible.
But slightly discouraging thing about the Old Testament is that once there many of the good guys, they spent a lot of time living under the consequence of poor decision making. But hey let's just cut them some slack and say isn't that the same for our lives too.
Sometimes I think that I'm winning but there are moments where I'm like actually I'm not winning right now. I thought I'd taken two steps forward we're taking a step back.
But this kind of trend is really apparent in the Bible. I think it serves as a warning to all of us, firstly of what can happen if we take our eyes off succession? but moreover the potential that there is within every generation to change the course of history.
Good leaders in the context of the Old Testament are basically faithful to God that's what it simply is, it's being faithful to God. When they're faithful, their nation survives. Faithfulness really means they're committed to God's grace, to God's guidance. They're committed to God's covenant, they're committed to God's commands. Basically what they do? is they do what God tells them to do. They honor him, they make him a priority, their lives focus in on and center around What he said.
The opposite, the unfaithful leaders, the poor leadership that brings a consequence upon the people. It does the opposite. It's all summed up in this one word idolatry. Basically what happens when there's poor leadership or amongst the people? is they choose not to build their lives around God, but instead they focus on a false god, they decide they're going to pursue other gods, they're going to turn God from being God into a pocket God, or into a shrine that they go and worship our a stick that they set up in the city, they worship false gods. As a result of this, there's a consequence for the people.
It seems to me that this trend in the Bible is that a faithful generation enjoys God's favor protection and provision and then the next generation comes along and builds on that blessing.
David and Solomon:
This is really played out in the story of David and Solomon.
What happens for the the people of Israel? they feel captivity in Egypt, they go around in circles in the wilderness for a while and then they take possession of the promised land. They're a group of tribes that coexist and that coexistence typically is a little bit fraught, it's a little bit troubled, there's a lot of division, there's conflict, they have external enemies that come and try and take them out of the game. It's a really interesting history for them.
The people are ruled at one point by judges. The judges preside and they make decisions. Eventually the people have had enough of the judges and they decide that they want a king. So they go to the Prophet and they say we want a king. The Prophet says to them, you don't want a king and they say we want King. Okay have it your way, have a king but be warned.
So Saul is selected from amongst the people. As the king now Saul's kind of rulership is a mixed bag let's call it that. But a young man emerges for amongst the people a shepherd called David. What we learn about David is, there something about David's heart, character and life. David achieves something, he delivers something into the nation that starts something new. As a result of the decisions that David makes, in the life that David lives, his son Solomon inherits something so much stronger than David himself inherited.
Basically what it's saying is that a faithful generation enjoys God's favor protection and provision and then the next generation gets to build upon this blessing.
I'm not making a political point with this story. I'm just wanting to kind of illustrate what I'm saying here. When there was a change of government in the not-too-distant past, somebody took up their post in the Treasury in the part of government that deals with finance and arrived at his new desk to find a letter on the desk saying I'm afraid, there is no money. This kind of notes that he found on his desk, came to represent the kind of the some of what had been achieved by the previous administration. That wasn't really fair, because the government had that had gone before it actually achieved some amazing thing. Some person in government made the mistake of writing this note and of course it got splashed all over the newspapers.
But when the generation of government that had been in power that it essentially spent all the money stepped out and another government steps in and takes over. What they realized? the point is this that The next generation either builds on the successes of the previous generation or it pays the price. It suffers the consequences of their weaknesses, of their failures.
In the relay race, we set the next runner up either to win or to fail. It is the same in every single areas of our life. We can run as faithful people, we can run as committed people, we can run as forgiving people, we can run as gracious people, we can run as generous people.
We can do all that we can do to set the next generation up to win or we can do the opposite and get stuck get lost in the race get caught up in the race and as a result whoever picks up the baton next has to deal with the hand effectively that they've been dealt by us.
We get to choose whether they go on to win or whether we set them up for something else. They may redeem what we set them up for, they may build on what we set them up for, they may take the brilliant hand that we've given them and waste it away but the point is there is this connection across the generations that we really need to be aware of.
I was thinking about this, in terms of the life that my wife and I have lived and I think if My wife and I were honest we would say in some areas of our life you know we haven't been right now we've got to this point,I'm in mid of 30's, we have five young children, there are some things that we have done well and there are other things that we want to look at and work on and improve on to set up our children to win in their race.
One of the things that I think that we've done well is I think that we have made some difficult and courageous decisions to give up some stuff in order to prioritize and honor God.
Because one of the things that we said is if there's something we want our kids to grasp a hold of, their success isn't measured by their bank balance, their successes aren't measured by the car that they drive around in, or by the the trophies on the shelf. Success is measured in our willingness to be loyal to be devoted to God.
To say actually him and his house is so important that we'll do whatever he calls us to do. We'll always say yes to Jesus. We believe that shown something our willingness to do that.
I want to say to you the same thing, your courage will set the next generation up to win. Your sacrifice will set the next generation up to win. Your determination to conquer and overcome the things that have held you back will set the next generation up to win.
If you allow it to and the opposite is also true, where I've struggled with issues in my life and I've said I'm not going to deal with that right now, if there's an enduring pattern of behavior, or a bad habit, or say for example that I had an addiction that I just couldn't shake maybe it's gambling or something that's really costing my family money, it's gonna drain potential out of our family to set the next generation up to win.
This is the Bible and just rewind to that one where it says those who work the land will have abundant food. What it's saying is those they invest themselves, those they work hard, those they give their all will reap reward.
But those who choose not to do that are lazy or chase fantasies are gonna going to sort of live in the consequences of that.
I wanted to finish this part of my message with this statement faithfulness is not a limited and temporary affair. It's a consuming and lifelong commitment because of the impact that it has on the next generation.
I was to like Mary Naomi for example and say to them I'm gonna be with you for the rest of my life, don't worry I'll always be here, actually as part of our vows I said to her. I would be faithful to her for the rest of our lives and then 2 years in she looked around, found that we had 17 children and I'd vanished she's gonna come and find me and she would say to me look you did a good couple of years there, you know it was two good years that you gave me. But that does not equate to faithfulness, because faithfulness is something that season in season out, decade in decade out, year after year after year after year after year till your dying breath. that's what faithfulness looks like.
But I've noticed this thing in the world that we're living in that we started to believe that being faithful is measured over the Sprint. It's like they were there for a few months, they gave it their all for a few months, faithful person now. That's not faithfulness, that's a good couple of months, that's a limited and temporary affair. There are, five years of loyalty or five years of commitment, five years of diligence how faithful person, No, No faithfulness is a lifelong endeavor.
Faithfulness is something that endures through the decades. Faithfulness is something that endures even when we least want to press on and move forward.
If faithfulness is the thing that even when we stumble brings us back into the game. When we're running the race and we drop the baton, faithfulness is a thing that we decide I'm not going to give up at this point, I made a mistake, things went to wrong, I'm gonna own that mistake, I'm gonna grab the baton again and I'm gonna get back in the race and I'm gonna expend myself fully to get myself to the end of the race.
People cannot inherit from us what they do not see us model in our lives.
It's so important that we grasp at that. so that's the first thing that I want to talk about every single generation has the potential to positively shape the course of history.
The second theme is this that every one of us has a part to play.
When we zoom in on the to the Bible that I was talking about earlier the bit of the succession of David to Solomon, it's really interesting to me that David has a specific call upon his life, he has a specific responsibility that is given to him by God and that is summed up with the statement that David was called to be a man of war.
When we look at Solomon's life, the Bible tells us that Solomon is called to be a man of peace. He's called to achieve and do something else other than what David was called to do.
The point of this is that David has to live out his calling in order to Solomon to be able to step in to his calling. It's a really interesting connection.
During David's life, David has much success and David at a stage of his life he gets a vision to build the temple for God. It says in the Bible David had fought these fights and he had these victories and he gets it within his heart and there's a whole bunch of context around this that we're going to part. But he gets this vision to build a temple for God.
What happens as David starts to embrace and pursue this vision is that he's told by God that's not what I've called you to, that's what I've called Solomon and his generation. They're going to deal with the temple, you're called to be a man of war, you're called to establish something in your life that they will need for what they're called to.
This is what God says to David, hey David you've got this vision to build a temple that's actually not what I'm calling you to do. It talks about you've got too much blood on your hands. What it's saying is you're a man of war. If you read in the Bible, it's actually in another part of the Bible you read this story it goes on to explain in the next chapter how David focuses himself on a few things.
One of the things David focuses himself on is defeating all of the enemies around God's people that have some of them have stood against God's people for generations and generations and generations.
What David basically says that God's not calling me to build the temple so rather than wanting to do what God hasn't called me to do, I'm gonna do what God has called me to do, and in so doing I'm gonna set up the generation that is to come for victory and for success.
It's a really interesting thing because I think every single one of us in our life will get tempted at times to stray off script.
We'll look at somebody else's calling and we'll say how about ways that they get to do that? and yet in my life I've been called to do this. how come we have to live this type of life or invest ourselves in this set of circumstances or expend our self in this way? and they get to do all the fun stuff. we do that don't we?
We can look and we can say it's not fair, look at their calling compared to my calling. Their calling is so much better.
I think the point that the Bible is making here is we've got to do what we called to do. Because if we don't do what we are called to do, guess what they can't do what they're called to do either.
If David had said I'm going to build the temple anyway because actually I think I'm good at building temples, and I said I don't you know God's always wanted to build a temple. He would have been unfaithful and as a result of his unfaithfulness he would have bought trouble and calamity upon the people would have been a great price that they paid because of his disobedience. That's not what David does.
David reconciles himself to the fact that as nice as it would be, to be that leader that leaves that legacy that has that heritage that's not his calling.
David instead invests everything that he has in preparing the way for Solomon to succeed. David recognizing that he was not the one called to build the temple, spends all the rest of his life investing all that he has in setting up the next generation to win.
It's profound that there isn't axed between David and Solomon, there isn't frustration for David because Solomon's getting to do what he wanted to do, instead David got an opportunity now in this generation in our life to set Solomon up for the win.
I'm just gonna read a short extract explaining some of what David does as he responds to this call.
Let's just see what David's done there? what he's saying is having received this instruction from the God, having reconciled myself to the call that is on my life upon our generation. He'd actually engaged heavily in war, he continued to be the man of war that God had called him to be to establish the nation as God had called him to establish it. He mobilized the nation to start stockpiling, to start saving, to start amassing an incredible bounty of treasure to make it possible for Solomon to do what he was called to do. so he used his role and his position to position the nation for success. But he did more than that.
David went from the field as a shepherd delivering sandwiches to his brothers and he was faithful to God and now he's giving a hundred and twelve tons of gold. I think is he takes all that he has in addition to using his role and his work and his connections and all that to mobilize what is needed for the next generation.
I had this moment when I was preparing this message when I got a bit distracted happens a lot and I was like I wonder how much 188 tons of gold is worth today ? seven and a half billion dollars.
The David mobilizes through his role, through his position, through his status, the nation to prepare for what comes next.
He does everything that he can personally do. He gives all that he has to prepare for what comes next, and then he leans on all of his contacts and connections, he mobilizes his influence to prepare for what comes next as well and in so doing he sets the next generation up to win.
I think it's such a different picture to the picture that I see today of how generations set the next generation up for the win.
At times we would say well hang on my wealth is my wealth. These guys need to go in their own wealth. They need to go do it themselves. At times we might look and say I'm not content not to get to do that thing, I want it all and I want it now. That's the spirit of our generations, that's the spirit of the age that we live in.
Rather than waiting and equipping and readying these guys to do it even better than we've done, what a lament will be frustrated in the fact that I've not got to do it myself, that's the world that we tend to live in.
As a result, At each generation, at each passing on of the baton, there's a stumbling in the race.
As a result, times it can be like the the people that were unfaithful to God that each successive generation, there's a restart that has to happen, a renewing that has to happen to try and take ground that has been lost or given up in previous generations.
I think God wants something more for his church. Imagine if we the church today said we're gonna try and achieve some great things for God in our lifetime. But actually what we want to do is we want to leave something, a legacy, an inheritance, a provision for the generation that comes next.
So that rather than being a kind of a one sprint wonder, there is a godly generational relay race that happens that sees more people reached and impacted all over the world. that's the kind of thing that takes the gospel to the ends of the earth, that's the kind of thing that fulfills all that we call to fulfill and honors God. It's challenging but it's true.
I think we have an amazing opportunity to set the next generation up to win.
I'm gonna finish up with seven points, yes seven I mean somebody pointed out them this morning you know that's the biblical number for completion I was like that's a coincidence.
Seven points that we can embrace in order to set the next generation up to win.
Can I just say this I'm speaking to you in this room if you're 70 years old but I'm speaking to you in this room if you're seventeen years old today.
This isn't something you park and worry about in 30 years time, this is something we all have to engage with.
I was passing things on to others as somebody who worked in retail to pay my way, As a student I was passing things on to others when I was studying and I was working with people and I was volunteering. Throughout our lives succession is relevant, to a succession is important to us.
1. Live Faithfully
We live faithfully, we commit our lives to being faithful to God. We allow that requirement to live faithfully to expand and to impact every area of our life.
How many of us if we were honest at times stumble on the fundamentals, generosity, giving into God's house. We can get caught up in these really basic things.
Living faithfully means we're gonna do whatever God calls us to do, and we're gonna do it with all of our heart, to love him with all of our heart or our soul with all of our minds, there's something about giving ourselves fully to living faithfully.
2. Fulfill our calling
Embrace your calling whether it seems grand or it seems humble, just do what God's called you to do. Because it's about more than just how you feel? or what you feel it will perceive yourself to have achieved in your life? It sets those who come next up to win in their walk.
I just think that gives something of value, something of encouragement to us, when we think about the call upon our lives.
There are moments in my life where I've compared my calling and I've said why didn't I get to be the guy that made all the money and drove around in the really nice car? it'll be awesome, I guess I just do what I've called you to do, and don't worry about that stuff.
3. Champion their calling
Look at David's example of faithfulness. He grabbed a hold of Solomon's calling. I think he owned it more than Solomon did are good before Solomon had even engaged with his calling.
He said I'm gonna give the balance of my life to Solomon's calling, I'm gonna make my calling his calling, so that he can go on to do what God has called him to do.
I think so often we don't champion the calling of the next generation. When people take over from us our work, it can be a little bit edgy, I wouldn't have done it that way, I'm not sure I would really do it that way, But it's not how we would have done it. It's not championing their calling that's been critical.
Championing they're calling means we're gonna own it, we're gonna own that thing.
4. Provide sacrificially
David gave seven and a half billion dollars of gold, what you giving? no I'm kidding I'm kidding.
Provide sacrificially, there's something about us having a vision.
I really wanted to say that I think some of us have a vision in life, I just want enough to get by, I want to be generous, I want to give, and I want a comfortable retirement when I stopped work in the future.
What would happen if you were to get a vision for leaving much much more than that to the generation that is to come.
What if you were to say actually God what I leave will either unlock potential and calling within the next generation or it will inhibit it, so I'm gonna get a vision to leave a lot, to pass on a lot, to provide a lot.
I've seen we're part of an amazingly generous Church where people do give sacrificially. I've seen people give their kids been in the fortunate position to give their kids deposits to buy house and in so doing they put their children in a home. It's an incredible legacy.
It's like we're going to give, you can't do this on your own, you're doing your best but let us give you a hand up to help move you forward, and it's been a great blessing.
I know not all of us can do that, and that's okay. now God's got this, but there's something about having a vision to be able to provide sacrificially.
5. Equipping them well
Go and read one Chronicles and see how David did all that he could do to prepare the plans for the temple to structure society in a way that would enable facilitate the building of the temple.
It says that they started to carve, prepare the stones that could be use, stockpiling the stones so that when the building came to happen.
There's something about equipping people well for what's ahead. It means that there's gold within you that needs to be invested in those that come next.
I really think at times we can hold back from sharing what's in our hearts, and bringing what's in our hearts. We say well it's not my responsibility, they're running the race now. there's a way isn't there of coming alongside those that have stepped up and a stepping forward and saying hey I just want to share what God has placed within my heart to be able to help.
I've been in situations before where I've been the leader but I've been younger than other people in the room and I've seen them step in and say hey why don't we try this? and I've seen an amazing fruit as a result of me getting out of the way and letting them share their wisdom. there's something about receiving wisdom down the generational lines.
6. Release them to lead
How can we set the next generation up to win? release them to lead.
I love the fact in our church and when I come in on a Sunday I see people on stage who are young, who are passionate, who are going for it.
I love the fact that right now around out the world we've got people long in their 60's the leading locations but we've also got people in their 20's as well.
I love Gary and Heather as hard as our leaders constantly to release the next generation to lead.
I think releasing the next generation to lead means to say it's a priority to us that we see people released stepping into leadership, taking on responsibility.
7. Follow passionately
It maybe the hardest of all, follow passionately, where we see people stepping up.
When I step down as a leader within our church somebody else is going to take forward what I've built. I really pray, I'm praying now that my heart is prepared now to follow that person passionately.
When they do the things that I think are awesome, but when they do the things that I would never do, that I might look at that I wouldn't do it that way, I'm not sure what that's all about, that I follow passionately.
There's something about following passionately that is important within succession.
So just rounding this off. When it comes to succession, succession is not a moment in life, it is a way of life.
It's a way that God blesses and it builds for God and it achieved something far far more for God than we realize.
The amazing thing David does all that he does to set Solomon up for the win. In Solomon's generation, in the history of Israel is known as the golden era of the nation of Israel. It's an era of unprecedented success, of unprecedented nation-building. They build the temple, they build Solomon's Palace, they trade with all of the known world, people come from a far to try and understand how it is they're achieving what they've achieved there? because of David's faithfulness, because of the way he lives his life, because of his legacy Solomon's generation really achieves what no generation previously had been able to achieve.
But here's the tragedy, Solomon in his success made some poor decisions. As a result of his poor decisions, he sowed the seeds that led the people from a place of unprecedented success to division, to exile, to being scattered all over the world.
It says that Solomon had hundreds of wives and hundreds of concubines from all over the world and they brought with them their religions and it stirred idolatry basically within the hearts of the people, the faithfulness turned to unfaithfulness. what happened? you saw a loss as a result.
The reason that I'm sharing this as part of this series, and hey guys I know there's been a lot in this message and this has been a long message, but I actually make no apologies for that, because I believe that this is a word in season for our church right now.
As I was preparing this message God gave me two words that I couldn't shake from my spirit and they were these words the final push.
Maybe you believe what I believe and that's Jesus is coming back, Bible tells us. He will return, be ready for when he returns. I really believe that Jesus is going to come back for his church, for his bride. But there's some stuff that we've got to get done before that happens. I really believe that there's something about us as the church having the mentality of the final push.
I don't know about you, but there's those moments in the game where we see that the end is in sight and so we give more than we would otherwise have given.
We mobilize or motivate more within ourselves to achieve more, to expend more, to leave more than perhaps we would have otherwise have left.
I really believe the church in this generation needs to have a mentality of the final push.
I'm not saying that next week when you're eating your Kellogg's cornflakes Jesus is going to return. We've been expecting this for 2000 years, one think that we can agree on is each day that passes moves us closer to that moment. That moment is going to be glorious, it's gonna be glorious for those of us that are in him anyway.
I want to challenge us as a church to have the mentality, when it comes to succession the final push mentality that in our lives, the various roles, the various things that we will do, the various positions that will hold in our lives, we will focus upon achieving but also upon good succession, positive succession, setting the next generation up for the win.
But I also want us with the whole of our lives to have that mentality as well. I want us to go home as husbands and wives, as young people have the conversation how am I going to use in my life not just to achieve through my life but to create a legacy that will mean that those that come next can go further and do more than I can do.
This has got into my thinking, I've started to question decisions that I've made priorities within my life, I've started to see things differently, we've started to say maybe we don't need that, after all it would be great. But somebody could do more with that, create more value if we were to release it, if we were to sew it if we were to store it up four times ahead.