Several years ago, I emailed Dr. Jack Hayford a question about revival. This busy apostle of the church graciously took the time to write a lengthy email response that helped me see a larger picture than the one I had originally framed with my initial question. Gently correcting the misunderstanding of a younger leader is the ministry of a spiritual father. When I finished reading Jack’s email, I was humbled, but I was also honored at the way he graciously helped me see the issue from a different perspective. As Pastor Jack wisely unpacked this deeper level of understanding he also provided an insightful observation.
He said an entire generation of leaders in our church family (Foursquare) had led without schooling and shaping the emerging generation of younger leaders on how to move, lead and respond to the working of the Spirit. As I travel and minster in churches outside the Foursquare Church, I have seen this same thing taking place in other movements and denominations. Pastor Jack said these young leaders were not resistant to the Spirit. They simply had not been raised in a ministry context where the Spirit moved with freedom in the grace of revival. This environment had created models of ministry that taught us how “to do church” which is often produced from within a studied caution to avoid the supernatural.
I titled this article, “A Stumbled Generation”. The stumbled generation is not the young leaders who are genuinely interested in a deeper move of God’s Spirit whose spiritual fathers failed to raise them up with an understanding of how this can take place. The Stumbled Generation are leaders from my generation who now hold positions of influence and who have created models of ministry that function around the periphery of the Spirit’s supernatural intervention and manifestation.
It is not too late for my generation to rise from this stumbled posture and humbly confess a lack of courageous, Spirit-led leadership. In this act of confession our generation can stand to its feet and with younger leaders walk forward together toward the only thing that will produce revival and cultural transformation – a fresh encounter with God’s Spirit.