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Mentoring the Joshua Generation

Slide 1

MENTORING THE JOSHUA GENERATION by Robert Bignold

“FATHERLESSNESS IS DEVASTATING TO MEN”

I can’t get the words of the twenty-seven year old speaker at the Joshua chapter, James Levesque out of my mind; “My generation is dying because they have no fathers.”

The National Fatherhood Initiative states; “fatherlessness is devastating to men. Boys without dads are more likely to run away from home, commit suicide, exhibit behavioral disorders, drop out of school, abuse drugs and alcohol, and go to jail.” In the natural world men need natural fathers, in the spiritual world men need spiritual fathers.

The example of Jesus and the early church leaders made it clear that men are to serve as spiritual fathers. Jesus was a spiritual father to the 12 apostles. And the apostle Paul called both Timothy and Titus his son's. Many of the writers of the New Testament proclaimed spiritual maturity as the goal for Christian men. Paul particularly begged believers to grow up -- to move beyond milk to solid spiritual food. In order for young Christians to mature they need the guidance of a spiritual father. We don't expect natural babies to raise themselves, nor should we expect young Christians to do so. Paul told these young Christians to “imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ”.

James Levesque said “my friends are dying because they have no fathers”. James friends have no natural fathers and they have no spiritual fathers. Men, if you look around your chapter do you see any young men, any men between the ages of 20 and 35, probably not! Most of our chapters have few men between the ages of 35-45. My goal for our FGBMFA chapters is to enlist younger men, men just getting started in life, men who are in entry-level jobs, men who need guidance both in their work life, and in their spiritual life. How can we do that?   I'm not sure. I am certainly open to any ideas that you may have. And while we do not currently have all the answers, we can begin to reach out to these men. Perhaps you will meet them on the job; they may be the apprentice electrician or a labor, or the fellow who works in the shops with you, perhaps a fledgling salesman. Let's start thinking of ways that we can involve them in the Fellowship. In the Seattle Tacoma Area we have started the Joshua chapter, a chapter specifically for young men, ages 20 to 35. In the Bothell area north of Seattle Chris Mitchell a man 30 years old is starting a chapter. We haven't yet learned how to make these chapters successful and how to make them attractive to young men but were working on it. And I encourage you to begin thinking along these lines, to begin reaching out to younger men, and to become a spiritual father, a mentor to the young men who are dying, both physically and spiritually because they have no father.

I want to encourage you who receive this, and have any insights to please forward your insights to me, we are open to your suggestions. Begin to pray in your chapter prayer meetings, ask God how to reach the young men of this generation.

Slide 2

HOW WE ARE BEGINNING TO MENTOR THE JOSHUA GENERATION

MEN’S ADVANCE FEATURES THE JOSHUA GENERATION

In Western Washington the FGBMFA sponsored the MIRACLE RANCH MENS ADVANCE. The theme of the camp is “Mentoring the Joshua Generation.”

The price of the camp for those under 35 years of age is half that of those over 35 years of age. The worship team is led by Manny Gil and two other young men. Manny who is in his 30’s leads our Battleground Chapter.

MENTORING YOUNG MEN!

In Eastern Washington Reagan Couch our chapter president in Yakima is teaching a business course to the young men in his chapter and from several churches. In Reagan’s own words “I am teaching a class Called Richest Man who ever lived by Scott. It is a study in Proverbs how to live your life and Set GODLY goals, and use Proverbs wisdom to reshape our thought process. Kindness and integrity must become our Wisdom and thought process. At present I am honored to teach this to three groups of men. Get the book and look at it. It is life changing in wisdom.” Praise God, Reagan has caught the vision and is doing something to change the demographics of our Fellowship.”

COMMENTS FROM YOUNG LEADERS!

Several of our young leaders have written thanking me for emphasizing the need for the older men to mentor them.

Many of them recognize their need of mentoring, after reading last weeks exhortation concerning sin in the church one of our young leaders wrote the following: “I have been really seeking the lord to find out why we do not see The Holy Spirit move like we once did. I know for a fact it is not because God does not want to heal, speak to us, pour out blessing, or perform signs and wonders. We know he CAN and WANTS to. So why is it not happening???? Your e-mail and many other things the lord has revealed to me are right in line with what you say!”

“God is itching to pour out his spirit and do some AMAZING things. WE ARE STOPPING HIM! I myself had to correct some things and am seeking to grow past a few issues and really "WALK IN THE SPIRIT" as we are called to do. No more going in and out… into the flesh back into spirit, into flesh, and back into spirit. This is non sense. It is keeping the power of the Holy Spirit from moving through me and many others. I watched a preacher last night ask a question. He asked when the last time you pastor prayed for someone and they were healed? The reason is clear. It is us and our lack of dedication to live right. It is our fear to offend someone. After all we don't want to be judgmental. Doesn’t the Bible tell us to keep each other accountable? So how is it judgmental if my brother convicts me or I convict him? Will we both not grow from this? So I say to people hold each other accountable. Don't let things go on as they have. We all want more of God and his Holy Spirit. We know how to get it. The question is are WE as men going to stand up be examples and make it happen? As for me in Bothell I am committed. Let’s do what we are suppose to do so the Almighty God can once again pour out his POWERFUL Holy spirit on us. I thank God for elders like you Bob; you are an example and a blessing!”

Another young man said “when I read the FGBMFA mission statement I said to my wife I want to get involved in this outfit.”

Another “thanked me for sharing my experience in the spiritual aspects of leading a meeting. He said that he had never heard some of the things which I shared.”

Slide 3

JOE HAS CAUGHT THE VISION

The theme of our recent Miracle Ranch Men’s Advance was “Mentoring the Joshua Generation”. Joe Day one of our chapter presidents in the southern part of our state accepted that challenge and invited a young man, (I will call him David) to the camp.

David, who worked for Joe, was in his mid-twenty’s, he didn’t want to come to the camp, but Joe kept encouraging him, and finally late in the afternoon of the day of the Camp David agreed to go. By the time Joe and David arrived at the camp, some three hours from their home in the southern part of our state, the evening meeting was well under way. I noticed David setting in the very back of the room, his head down, obviously not very happy about being there. Suddenly speaker began sharing how that when he was younger he had been involved in fast cars, drugs, and a criminal record. David looked up, this mans experiences reminded him of his own lonely existence, then the speaker shared how God had turned his life around, and given him a vision and a mission.

I sat next to David at lunch the next day, he was smiling, and he told me how the man who spoke the previous evening had encouraged him. As we talked I learned that his mother and father were divorced when he was very young, and how his mother had abandoned him when he was five years old. David had been raised by his grandmother.

He told me how he had a turbulent early life and a criminal record before he had accepted Jesus as his savior. Now, even though he was born again he spent much of his time lonely and depressed. Joe Day, who was sitting on the other side of David, said that he would often work all day and never say a word. Just as I said “David it must be difficult growing up without a father,” the man on my left at the dinner table, (I will call him Jim), began to share with us about his own life. Jim, a contractor had been invited to the Men’s Advance by one of his employees. He told David that having a father was not always the answer to a happy life, he told us how his father, who was an alcoholic, would come home late at night drunk and beat his mother and him mercilessly. He related that his mother finally divorced his father and married another man, but he also was an alcoholic.

His step-father was no different than his natural father; he also beat his mother and often would also beat him. Jim left home when he was fifteen years old. I looked at David and said “David having a father is not your answer, having a relationship with your heavenly father is the answer,” later I was able to share some biblical principles with David, that if he applies them, will help him to become successful in life.

Why have I shared these snapshots from the lives of David and Jim? Because there are millions of young men just like them, they may have never had a father like David, or perhaps their fathers were bad examples of what a father should be.

These young men, although they may not realize it are looking for a mentor, they are looking for direction in their lives, and they need guidance and direction if they are going to break out of their current situations. But they are not looking for you; you like Joe Day will have to look for them.

Will you become a mentor to the Joshua Generation?

Slide 4

MY GENERATION IS DYING BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO FATHERS

On a Friday evening October 19th, 2007 the Joshua chapter, a chapter consisting of young men of 20 to 35 years old sponsored a meeting with a young man named James Levesque. James grew up in a housing tenement in Groton Connecticut. He opened the meeting by saying that “My generation is dying because they have no fathers.” Several weeks ago one of our Chapter Presidents (a man in his sixties) told me that he felt the Lord was leading him to mentor a young man.

He said that as a young man he had been mentored by an older gentleman, and that mentoring had gotten him started right in life and in business. I was thrilled when I heard his proposal, and asked him to mentor several of the men involved in the Joshua chapter. I have felt for some time that we need to do more to get young men involved in the Fellowship. Men who are just getting started in life, just getting married; just launching out in the business world, men who want to do something for God, but don't know how to do it. Many of these young men think that they have to be in the Ministry to do something for God. We need to show them by example that ordinary men can do extraordinary things in Christ Jesus. We need to teach them how to manage their finances, how to excel in their business relationships, and how make a difference among the young people they associate with.

When the Joshua Chapter gets its feet on the Ground FGBMFA is going to sponsor a business seminar in the Seattle/Tacoma area in which we will teach young men how to believe God for increase in their business life, how to manage their finances, and how to be a force for good among the young people that they associate with.

I encourage you to search your heart to determine if God is calling you to be a Spiritual Father to the “Joshua Generation” Start thinking of ways in which you can encourage younger men to become involved in our chapters. Don’t let this Generation die because they have no father.

Please share your ideas with me and other with other FGBMFA leaders.

“And I will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers” (Malachi 4:6)

Slide 5

THERE IS A REAL NEED FOR MENTORS

This last weekend I attended the Canadian National Convention of the Full Gospel Business Men and in Edmonton, Alberta. One of the speakers Faisal Malick, a young man, spoke of the need for older men to mentor younger men.

Several days ago I read an interview with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, concerning his new book entitled “My Grandfather's Son”. Justice Thomas said ‘the first line in the book is, “I was nine years old when I met my father.” That refers to my biological father. But my grandfather was my real father. I named the book “My Grandfather's Son” because that's who I am. My grandfather and my grandmother influenced me and made me what I am today. That's why I always take offense when I hear it said that Yale or some other institution is responsible for my success. I was already fully formed by my grandparents when I attended Yale.

Whatever was poured into this vessel came from their way of life, and from my grandfather's independence, his insistence on self-sufficiency, his desire to think for himself even in the segregated South.” One of my grandfather's favorite sayings was “Old Man Can't is dead, I helped bury him” I must have heard that a hundred times.

Today we've grown comfortable with programs and theories, whether it's affirmative action or something else. But no government program could have done what my grandfather did for me. Both Fasal Malick and Justice Clarence Thomas’s testimonies reinforce the need for mentors in the lives of young men. They certainly reinforced the message that the Lord has been speaking to me concerning the need for spiritual fathers. Men follow men. Boys imitate their dads. Clarence Thomas imitated his grandfather.

Jesus imitated his Father. “I tell you for certain that the Son can do nothing on his own. He can do only what He sees Father doing, and he does exactly what He sees the Father do.” (John 5:19 CEV)

Next year FGBMFA is planning to sponsor a “Business by the Spirit Seminar” in the Puget Sound Area for young men and women who are considering going into business, or who have already been in business for five years or less. It is designed to guide and mentor young entrepreneurs, help them get started on the right foot, both financially and spiritually. If you would like to be involved in that program drop me an email.

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“WE NEED MENTORS!” - CHARISMA MAGAZINE - DECEMBER 07

I was about to leave the subject of “the need for mentors and spiritual father's”, when I noticed an article in the December 2007 issue (the current Issue) of “Charisma Magazine”, entitled “We Need Mentors”. It was written by a young man named Matt Sorger, who is described as the prophetic revivalist. Let me share with you several portions of that article.

“GOD IS RAISING UP A NEW GENERATION TODAY. Emerging Christian leaders in their 20s and 30s are going beyond the walls of church buildings to invade every area of society I am excited to be a part of that movement, we are taking a relevant gospel message that is combined with the raw power of God.

But we don't want to do it alone! We desperately need mature godly leaders who can steer us through the minefields of this challenging season. God is calling true apostolic fathers and mothers to rise to the occasion to equip and mature younger leaders so they can fulfill God's purpose for their generation. The older generations ceiling can become the floor for the younger generation to build upon. To successfully transition the church into this new season of exponential multiplication and impact, three principles are crucial for us to understand and practice.

 Today's generation is a relational. Young emerging leaders desire a relationship with the seasoned leaders God has raised up in the church.

We want the older generations blessing. We don't expect perfection in our mentors and spiritual mothers and fathers we simply desire their love support and encouragement, we want to learn from their successes as well as their mistakes.

 True apostolic fathers and mothers don't use control, fear, insecurity or jealousy to lead others. These things stifle the growth of God's kingdom. God is raising up a leaders to lead with the heart of David, not the tactics of Saul… Leaders must be releasers not constrictors. A true father wants his son or daughter to succeed. Love is not threatened by success but rejoices with it. Insecurity, fear or jealousy in the heart of any leader is detrimental to the health and life of the Church…

 We must also move beyond simply ‘releasing’ this generation to “do their thing.” God is bringing a strong paradigm shift in the hearts of many leaders on this key issue. It's not just about releasing; it's also about sending. There is a big difference…

Leaders must be intentional in looking for those to mentor and train. We must not use the emerging leaders simply to build our own ministries, even though God may have them serve in supporting roles for a season, As leaders we must take the time to discover the spiritual gifts of those we are called to mentor and help them get to where God is ultimately calling them to be…

Slide 7

YAKIMA WASHINGTON IS MENTORING MEN

Gentlemen,

In Response to my email of last week Reagan Couch, President of our Yakima Chapter sent me the following suggestions concerning his activities to mentor younger men. Reagan has a thriving and active chapter in the eastern part of Washington State.

“Bob you have touched my heart and desire for the Yakima Chapter. Some things we have done to touch these young men in the last two years:

• Elected young men in their 30's as officers.

• Give these same guys leadership training: once a week we meet and read together LEADERSHIP EXCELLENCE by Phil Pringle

• We bring in speakers who share their lives from the view point of men who have made a difference.

• I mentor three young men. They are in their 30's and desire to learn.

• Challenge them to read and put in action The Richest Man on Earth by Steve Scott (secrets to success, wealth, and happiness. ) this is a goal setting book using Proverbs as how to do it.

• Read and put in to their lives RELEASING KINGS For the Ministry in the Marketplace by John Garfield

• We have done two seminar's on releasing kings

• Study and read the book as a group: Why men hate going to Church (very insightful)

• The Yakima Chapter is trying to address these issues also. But the older, wiser, men who are seeing the need for a chapter are coming, but the young men have a hard time. I believe an on-going suggestion email would give us all new ideas and we could encourage each other with it.”

God Bless Reagan Couch

Slide 8

YOUNG MEN NEED TO BE TAUGHT HOW TO PRODUCE A HARVEST 

For the past several weeks I have been writing about the need for spiritual fathers to mentor younger men, but there is still more to be said on this issue. Last week I announced that in the coming months FGBMFA will sponsor a “Business by the Spirit Seminar” in the Puget Sound Area for young men and women. I said that the seminar would be slanted toward those who are considering going into business, or who have already been in business, but almost any young person could benefit from such a seminar. Certainly the financial aspects of a young man’s life are not the only area that requires mentoring, but if he does not learn how to handle his finances it will affect every other area of his life, and it will affect him for the rest of his life.

THE JEWISH FATHERS WERE MENTORS TO THEIR SONS

In biblical times Jewish boys were mentored by their fathers, they received on the job training so to speak. As a young child a boy would carry food and water to the fields where he watched the men harvest the crops and care for the herds. As he grew older his father taught him how to tend the herds, how to prepare the soil, when and how to plant and cultivate the crop, and when and how to harvest the crop. By the time he inherited the land from his father he was a seasoned farmer.

His father also taught him the Law of Moses; therefore he understood that the law required him to give “a tithe” the first ten percent of the harvest to the Lord; and that his obedience to the law of the tithe would cause God to bless the produce of his ground and the increase of his herds; (Deuteronomy 28:4) it would cause God to give rain to his land in its season; (Deuteronomy 28:12 and cause God to protect his crop from the curse of the law; [the locust, (Deuteronomy 28:38) the worm, (Deuteronomy 28:39) and evil men. (Deuteronomy 28:31)]

His Father also taught him that after he had paid the tithe, that the rest of the increase was available to feed him and his family, everything that is, except a portion of the newly harvested crop, usually the best seed and the best of the cattle which would be required to obtain the next years harvest and next years increase in his herd..

MOST OF US NO LONGER LIVE ON A FARM

In the twenty-first century most of us no longer live on a farm, we live and work in an urban environment; and we are employed in industrial, technological, professional or service types of jobs. Most people get a paycheck every couple of weeks instead of a crop every season.

The average American Christian works hard, earns a good salary, lives in a nice house, and owns a late model car, but they are in debt up to their eyeballs. They have adopted a lifestyle that devours their seed. After they have given their tithes, and paid their bills there is no seed left “to plant”, or as we would say in our urban world “to invest”.

Unlike the Jewish Farmer who taught his son how to plant and harvest a crop in the land of Judah, most American fathers (if a son is lucky enough to have a father) have failed to teach their sons how to plant and harvest a crop in the urban financial environment. Their father didn’t teach them because their father’s father didn’t teach him.

WE HAVE TURNED THE JOB OF MENTORING OUR CHILDREN OVER TO THE SCHOOL SYSTEM

We have turned the job of teaching our children over to the public school system and they have done little to prepare this generation for the realities of the world financial system. When a person graduates from high school or college they have no knowledge of the financial realities of life. They don’t understand how to read or prepare a personal financial statement, they don’t understand the difference between principle and interest, and they simply don’t understand the basic realities of personal finance. Most individuals don’t even look at their financial condition until they lose their job, buy a house or consider retirement. They think as long as they are making their monthly payments to the finance company they are succeeding in life.

The prosperity message taught in many churches is good; but it doesn’t go far enough.

Have you ever heard a sermon on saving a portion of the harvest (the paycheck) for seed?

Have you ever heard a sermon on the necessity of sowing seed, (investing in a business, the stock market, or other such venture) in order to give God something that he can bless, something He can cause to increase? Perhaps most importantly have you ever heard a sermon which teaches that it is just as important for the twenty-first century Christian to become financially literate, as it was for the Jewish farmer to learn how to plant and harvest his crop?

THE CREATION OF WEALTH REQUIRES FAITH

The creation of wealth requires some start up capital, (the seed) the knowledge of how to use that capital to bring increase; (understanding how to plant the seed and harvest the crop) but the factor which turns these ingredients into wealth is faith! The free enterprise system is built upon’ faith’, anyone who wishes to participate in that system has to be willing to work first, and then ‘hope’ for a reward; nothing is assured, every enterprise contains risk.

MEN, IT’S TIME WE MENTOR THE YOUNGER GENERATION, THOSE WHO ARE WILLING TO LEARN, HOW TO PLANT, TEND, AND HARVEST A CROP IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY URBAN FINANCIAL ENVIRONMENT

Slide 9

IX. YOUNG MEN WANT TO PUT THEIR GIFTS TO WORK

A WORD OF EXHORTATION TO CHAPTER OFFICERS

I am convinced that many young men want to put their spiritual gifts and talents to work for the kingdom of God, but the organized Church for the most part, has been reluctant to allow them to do so, they are afraid that they will make a mistake and embarrass them.

But if we fail to provide an outlet for these young men, and support them in the use of their God given gifts, the secular world is more than ready to do so. The sports and entertainment industries jumps at the opportunity to use their creativity and talents. The world has influenced the opinions, behavior and aspirations, of these young adults, by using and promoting their young gifts and talents. We should be seeking out and releasing the young men of the Joshua Generation in our chapters, men’s advances and outreaches to the nations. I believe God has placed great gifts within them, and great callings on the lives of many of these young men, lets make an effort to identify their gifts and give them an opportunity to minister in our chapters. I know from my own experience that the gifts and callings of God will not be released in their lives if they are not given an opportunity to use them.

We need to have higher expectations of them, help them to identify their spiritual gifts by actively embracing them, and offering them the opportunity to use their gifts, in our Meetings.

It is time to take our young men beyond simply ushering and singing in the worship team, by releasing them to speak and minister in our meetings. They need to know that mature Christians have confidence in them.

I received the following email in response to this message: “Good word Bob I agree with what you have been saying! I came to my first Full Gospel lunch meeting 26 years ago when I was a young 30 year old business man. I saw all these 55 to 65 year old business men running these FGBMF meetings. They were excited and full of love and the Holy Spirit. I saw them express their faith and love in bolder ways than what I saw in my church. I fell in love with these men and in the way they were allowed to freely express Christ.

What they were doing and how they were doing it was radically different in expressing and sharing Christ than in my church. What I saw in my first FGBMF meeting was a way I could express my faith to people just like me, but in a greater way than what I was allowed to do in my church. I fell in love with what I saw in that first meeting. I am still in love with same concept of men sharing and expressing Christ in their lives without restrictions but in an orderly way. I talked to Jess and Angel who have been with me since the beginning in these meetings. I told them remember when we first came to these meetings and we saw all these 55 & 65 year olds running these meetings. I said look around, we are now those 55 to 60 older guys, and we no longer have any younger men attending our meetings. We are doomed for extinction unless we start bringing younger people to the meetings. I believe that we have become so busy and crammed with the issues of life that the 50's and 60's bring, that we have lost sight of those younger men who are lost.

Bob, the power of the gospel in our meetings was sharing it with the lost. The church did not prepare us for this change of life and neither did FGBMF. Never-the-less we will regroup, refocus and go on again and continue till Christ returns. Thanks again Bob for your encouraging words.”

God Bless, Mike Quintana

Slide 10

WHAT MENTORING IS, AND WHAT IT IS NOT!

AS A YOUNG CHRISTIAN I WAS MENTORED BY GODLY MEN

I did not become a Christian in the traditional way. I was born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit while reading a book entitled “Power and Praise”. All I had ever seen, prior to my being born again, were traditional Christians, they went to church on Sunday and maybe on Wednesday night, and looked forward to going to heaven when they died.  Frankly, theirs was a passive Christianity that had never held much interest for me.

At the time I was born again I had no idea that God had an exciting plan for an ordinary believer like me. It had never occurred to me that He wanted to train businessmen like myself to lead other men to Christ, and help them to become baptized in the Holy Spirit.  And it certainly had never occurred to me, that God wanted me, to cast our devils and heal the sick. I had no idea how exciting the Christian life could be, and I certainly had no idea of the glory that awaited faithful believers in heaven. Certainly, none of these things would have become a reality in my life if someone had not encouraged me and mentored me as to how to fulfill God’s plan for my life. 

Fortunately, only a few short months after accepting Christ I heard about a group called the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship and found that they had a chapter in the Seattle area where I lived. Fortunately for me also, the Greater Seattle Chapter of the Fellowship was led by two men, Fred Doerflein and Don Ostrom, both of whom had a Global Vision. These men didn’t look at what I was; they looked at what I could become, and they began to mentor me. Within a short time after I attended my first meeting Fred nominated me for Chapter Secretary, in that position I was mentored in how to give a testimony, how to take an offering, how to lead a meeting, and other routine chapter duties. The following year after the men in the chapter became acquainted with me, I was elected a vice president of the Seattle Chapter, a chapter of 600 members. Then five years later I became the Chapter President.  At the same time I was becoming involved in the chapter leadership these same men were mentoring me as to how to pray for the sick, how to deal with devils, and they even took me with them on several airlifts (Mission trips) to other nations. Then after several years they released me to start Full Gospel Business Men Chapters in other nations of the world. These men mentored me by taking me with them as they did the work of God, not only in the Seattle Area, but in the whole world. 

That is why earlier this month I invited a young man named David, a 26 year old businessman, with me as I spoke in several Oregon Chapters of FGBMFA.  When I was introduced to speak, I introduced my young protégé and asked him to share for 15 – 20 minutes.  Then I finished the meeting and as I neared the end of the meeting, I asked the young man to come forward and pray with me for the people.  But much of the mentoring really took place in the car as we drove to and from the meetings and at the dinner table as we conversed before the meetings.  This private time was an opportunity for me to share with him various experiences that I have had over the years, and it was a time for him to ask me questions. He is a sharp young business man with a great future ahead of him.  I pray that our time together will spare him some of the some of the mistakes that I have made over the years, and help him advance more rapidly in the fulfillment of his destiny.

WHAT MENTORING IS, AND WHAT IT IS NOT!

There are a number of examples in scripture of older, more experienced, men mentoring and coaching younger less experienced men. In each case, the younger men received on the job training, they were not taught in a formal classroom setting.

Moses mentored young Joshua.  He spent time with Joshua; he took Joshua with him when he spent forty days and nights on the mountain in the presence of the lord. (Exodus 24:13-18) Later when he placed the “Tabernacle of Meeting” Joshua stayed in the tabernacle, in the presence of the Lord. (Exodus 33:7-11)

Elijah mentored Elisha. He took Elisha with him everywhere he went.  When Elisha asked for a double portion of the Spirit that was on Elijah, Elijah said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if not, it shall not be so.”  (2 Kings 2: 9-10)

Jesus mentored the twelve Disciples by taking them with him everywhere he ministered.  At times he would single out Peter, James and John and take them with him when special manifestations of the Spirit were to occur. The disciples heard what Jesus said, and they saw what Jesus did. When He fed the multitudes (The five thousand and the seven thousand) it was through the disciple’s hands that the bread and fish were multiplied. When He considered that the twelve had matured sufficiently, He sent them out “two by two” to do the works which he did. Later Jesus sent out seventy additional followers to do the same works.

Paul also mentored a number of young men; the New Testament is full of instances where he took these young men with him as he traveled from place to place; young men like Mark, Timothy, and Titus. After he had released these young men to do the work that he did, he kept in touch with them by letters, offering them guidance and correction.

Notice that all these biblical mentors followed the same pattern, they did not hold a series of classroom teachings; they spent time with the young less experienced Joshua’s, and they showed them by example how to do the work of the Kingdom.  Each of these biblical mentors understood an important principle, it is a principle that many pastors and church leaders have missed.

“The anointing is caught, it is not taught”.

With the exception of Jesus these biblical mentors were not perfect; they made mistakes, just like you and I have made mistakes.  But regardless of their imperfections they spent time with their young protégé’s, and demonstrated by example their knowledge of the Word, the importance of prayer, and they received  hands-on-training as to how to cast out devils, heal the sick, and proclaim the testimony of Jesus in their lives.

JOSHUA NEGLECTED TO MENTOR THE NEXT GENERATION

Joshua, who had been mentored in the Lord by Moses, did a wonderful job of leading the Israelites to victory in the Promised Land, but he neglected to spiritually mentor the next generation of Israelites. Consequently when that Generation became adults they did not know the ways of the Lord.  “Now Joshua the son of nun, the servant of the Lord, died when he was one hundred and ten years old… When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord or the work which He had done for Israel.”  (Judges 2:9-10)

During the Decades of 60’s, 70’s and 80’s we men of the Full Gospel Business Men in America became mighty warriors for the Lord. Under “His Banner of Love” we moved in one accord to take the “Full Gospel Message of the Kingdom” into the marketplace of over 150 nations of the world; and that message is still producing fruit for the Kingdom of God in many of those Nations.

But we like Joshua, became so involved in taking the land that we did not take the time to mentor the next generation. As a result that generation does not know the Lord and the things which he has done for our nation.  We did not invite them to our meetings, and ask them to give their testimony in our chapters. We did not take them with us when we spoke in other chapters or in other nations. We did not make them chapter officers, or field representatives and directors, consequently many, if not most, of our chapters now consist of older men.

We meet weekly or monthly celebrating the victories of the 70’s and 80’s. But is the Vision which God gave to our Fellowship complete?  Are the heads of the men of our nation raised toward heaven as Demos saw them in “The Vision”? Do their eyes shine with joy? Are their hands lifted toward heaven? Are they linked in a community of love and adoration? (1)

Is it too late to fulfill “The Vision” in America?

Is it too late to mentor the younger generation, the Joshua Generation, in the vision and the mission to which God has called our Fellowship? 

I realize that this Presidents Message has presented a “Challenging word”, even a “hard word” but God has not called us to set around our tables and reminisce over our past victories.

He has called us to fulfill “His Vision” the vision of calling men back to God. Will you and the men of your chapter make a special effort in the following months to recruit and mentor the young men of the Joshua Generation?