*Foster new movements
*Invest in the next generation
This last of the 12 footsteps of Jesus may be the hardest it some ways. It’s about letting go, recognizing that for however much work we may have put into this whole thing, it’s not ours. The kingdom of God is much bigger than that. Whenever we find ourselves holding onto “our church,” “our leaders,” “our budget dollars,” or “our denomination, we are looking at the world through much too narrow a scope.
Rather, we are called to generosity, so we can foster new movements and invest in the next generation. Virtually every generation disapproves in some way of the one that comes after it. But can we be generous anyway? Can we give with open hands and an open heart? Can we allow this next generation to benefit from our experience, our stability, our resources, even if they don’t fully appreciate those things right now? This is a hard and humbling road to take. New leaders don’t fully develop until we release and empower them—that’s the legacy of 2nd Timothy 2:2: “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”
I’m thinking right now of a now-small congregation of elderly people who voted to gift their building to a younger church that needed a place to worship. They didn’t like everything about this new church, but their goal was to help them succeed so there would be a place for their grandchildren to worship someday. That is generosity. It takes great faith to release the work of God.