– Pastor Bimbo Animashaun
The future of ministry “largely” depends on generational transfer, and the massive erosion of core ministry values and orientation is also largely triggered by generational gap.
God is not the God of one generation; He’s the God of all generations, and it is His supreme will and counsel that His work and move from the outset of Church existence trickles down to generations until the appearing of Christ.
When hot spots of revival previously known for the mighty move of the Spirit become a heap of rubbles for all kinds of deviant and abberant humanistic practices such as it’s currently prevalent in Europe, it is largely caused by generational gap.
You see friend, according to the Bible, there’s such as called GENERATIONAL FLOWS, and the Scripture is awash with these.
Just one example; God said in the Book of Isaiah:
As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; MY SPIRIT that is upon thee, and MY WORDS which I have put in thy mouth, SHALL NOT DEPART out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.
According to God’s pattern, it is a divine order that should be replicated generationally, and the point at which an attempt is made to break that chain of generational transmission, that’s the beginning of spiritual anarchy and apostasy.
Over the years, decades and centuries, the issue of generational gap has been commonplace in the Body of Christ but the Spirit of God has always steered the wheel of the Church, raising a new generation which made a radical rediscovery of generational values their watchword.
The implication of generational gap is that most often, it drags the work of God backward sometimes decades or centuries backward while the Church could simply move on, on the plain of generational advancement.
Look at Europe for instance where great revivalists like John Wesley ministered, now most so-called Christians are not deeply interested in Church life but secularism.
The facts are there Sirs and Mas. Some places of worship noted for revival fires in the past centuries have become centres for clubbing, partying and where men carouse with women of easy virtue.
Truth is that at some point in history, there was A GENERATIONAL GAP. Now the West, I suppose, needs to be “evangelized” all over again!
It behooves us to understand at this point that God does not destroy the former glory so as to bring in a new wave of glory. No; He rather surpasses the former glory with greater glory.
When the Holy Spirit opens up new streams unto the Body of Christ which were hitherto dormant, then we’re to embrace them but not abandon the things we have received previously altogether.
That’s not a good strategy, and if that is not handled in the light of God’s wisdom and counsel, it can be a precursor to generational gap.
When Jesus introduced the New Covenant, He didn’t altogether abrogate “everything” in the Old Covenant; He dealt mainly with and abolished the CEREMONIAL PART of the Law – Col.2:14 but upheld the MORALITY of the Law which is now encoded in the word “LOVE” in New Testament parlance – Rm.13:8-10.
That is the order Beloved. The Holy Spirit can inspire a generation to streamline or correct the “human excesses” that came with a particular move of His in the previous generation through deeper insight and understanding of Scriptural provisions but not totally throw away the baby with the bath water.
That’s EXTREMELY DANGEROUS and unfortunately, that’s where we somehow have found ourselves in this generation with the incursion of “hyper grace teachings” into both Christian and ministry discourse.
A little clarification here; when the SU revival broke out in Nigeria in the 70s and 80s, especially among young people on campuses and championed by the likes of Papa Mike Oye and Papa W. F. Kumuyi, it came with a strong message of holiness and consecration and what have you.
And truth is that it really helped that generation and we’re all eye witnesses today because many of the mainline ministries and frontline ministers shaping Christian culture in Nigeria today came out of that movement.
Then, holiness was key. Consecration was key. Quiet time was key. Even though there could be one or two things to deal with, as it’s not peculiar to that move only but general to all the moves of the Spirit known in Church history, we cannot altogether push its core message to the foreground because it forms a vital part of the entire jigsaw of God’s template for the Church.
An attempt to throw away the baby with the bath water is the reason some young ministers today say things (MOSTLY UNTHINKABLE) about the Gospel of Grace.
Today, a young Pastor can rise up from the laps of Delilah in fornication and still handle microphone immediately to preach without anything pricking his consciense.
And such will tell you that he doesn’t need to confess his sin because Christ has made an eternal sacrifice for sin once and for all.
He has forgotten that IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, WE’RE NOT A LAWLESS PEOPLE; WE’RE GOVERNED BY A NEW LAW – LOVE – Rm.13:8-10.
He has forgotten that the true character of Grace manifests in our ability to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and that we’re to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world – Tit.2:11-12.
So, we see examples of this nature in this generation.
And without a counter operation of the Holy Spirit in raising sound teachers that will put that false ideology and theology where it belongs, core values of holiness and consecration can go into extinction in the next generation or two generations to come
But the Holy Spirit is smarter than any man.
You can’t hold His move to ransom by saying anything that you like to derail the next generation; He will raise, in the words of Pa. S.G. Elton, “vessels of recovery” who will rise in power and boldness to set things in order.
Another thing that the Holy Spirit does is that, if anyone unrepentantly is hell-bent on derailing young minds in the Body of Christ, He begins to cut down their influence so that they won’t pollute the next generation.
And then, He begins to raise a new breed of people who will cooperate with God’s plan and purpose and who will minister with generational conciousness to cause a baton transfer and not create generational gap
God always thinks of generations to come. To my mind, anybody can say anything they like about American Pentecostalism but one thing I think they have gotten right over the years is the place of GENERATIONAL TRANSFER.
Most preachers in the United States can boast of a rich and robust Christian heritage, sometimes they can trace it to four or five generations behind them.
I can’t just go into numerous examples here because of time and space.
Talk of men like Dad Hagin. Talk of men like Oral Roberts. Talk of men like John Osteen. Talk of men like John Hagee, and many others.
Somebody said, “But they always hand their ministries over to their families”.
Well, that’s nobody’s business. That’s STRICTLY between a minister and the Lord, and it is not a show of ministerial maturity to comment on matters that one is not privy to the underpinnings.
Now, beyond the issue of succession plan and arrangement, the MAIN ISSUE is that the work of God has been preserved through generational transfer.
One day, I said at a meeting under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, “THE BEST WAY TO BUILD AN ETERNAL STRUCTURE FOR YOUR WORK IS TO RAISE MEN”.
Anyone who doesn’t raise men in ministry will have his work die with him, and that is the bitter truth.
God is always interested in perpetuating His move generationally.
He told Abraham:
And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.
And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their GENERATIONS for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
He said in the Book of Isaiah:
For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:
Coming over here to Nigeria, we see great men like Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola impart the generations after them and today, even the blind can see that the calling of these great men is blowing hot like wild fire especially within Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) terrain.
We see men like Reverend Josiah Akindayomi, Founder of the Redeemed Christian Church Of God (RCCG) impart Pastor E. A. Adeboye and of course, the landscape has been shifted for good.
And then we see men like Archbishop Benson Idahosa transfer the baton to great fathers of Faith like Bishop Wale Oke and Bishop David Oyedepo and MANY MANY OTHERS that time will not allow me to mention.
Through this generational transfer, we have seen the culture of consecration, praying and fasting, faith, the miraculous, spiritual impact preserve over time.
Now it’s our turn! It’s our time!! We have two options: whether to play to the gallery and think of what people will say or to rise againt the tide and go full length to make these things known unto generations at the risk of being misunderstood but always abounding with thanksgiving and giving Glory to God.
The Word declares:
PSALM 78: 2-7
1 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:
3 Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.
5 For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children:
6 That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children:
7 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:
This shall be our testimony – we will not hide these things because it’s the burden of the call driving us and the leading of the Spirit guiding us.
We must continually teach these things because that’s ONE MAJOR WAY by which the move of the Spirit is preserved, and then through the impartations of the Spirit.
For instance, there’s palpable fear in certain quarters today that the Yoruba language is gradually going into extinction if nothing is done urgently to salvage the situation because most of our kids don’t understand the language but they’re very fluent in the language of “the oyinbo man”. That’s just an example beloved!
The things of the Spirit must be taught generationally to preserve the move of the Spirit.
The Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church, once told Dad Hagin, “There’s a move of the Spirit that will be lost to this generation except they’re taught about it”.
Teaching! Teaching!! Teaching!!! This has been God’s strategy to preserve His move generationally.
God told Israel of old:
6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. note
8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
Also, Paul wrote to Timothy:
2 TIMOTHY 2:2
And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
That’s a four-generational plan – Paul, Timothy, Faithful Men and Others!!!
And then through the IMPARTATIONS from the previous generation to the current generation, the move of God is preserved and the chain continues (please read Isaiah 44:3 and Isaiah 59:21 that I quoted earlier).
By God’s Grace, why do we teach some of the things that we teach like HONOUR, ETHICS, BALANCE, RESPECT FOR THE ELDERLY and other things? It’s for the aforementioned purposes!
Today, we see children do things with impunity and react against fatherly corrections and they’re confessing to be part of the move of God in their generation. For where?
Many people today want REVELATIONS without CORRECTIONS and that leads to DELUSIONS and FRUSTRATIONS.
Come on dear friend; our generation can do better. That’s why God raises men per time to teach some of these things and bring them to the front burner.
By the Grace and Mercy of the Lord, God helping us, we will not relent but continually lean on His unfailing strength to make known His counsel among the nations.
Sometime in the year 2004, I had just finished praying in tongues for three hours and laid on our three-sitter cushion chair to sleep.
I had barely gone twenty-five minutes into my sleep when I had an encounter. I heard a man’s voice who said, “This is the voice of Wigglesworth”.
Those days, I read after Smith Wiggleswotth a lot among those whose materials I fed on.
Then after the man said, “This is the voice of Wigglesworth”, I heard another voice which was Wiigglesworth’s, vibrating and he said these words repeatedly, “Generations. Generations. The generation coming behind. The generation coming behind”.
Then I woke up. You see friend; God is my eternal witness, I was SWEATING PROFUSELY from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet and to my finger tips, yet there was so much ventilation because the ceiling fan was blowing and the whole sleep was like twenty-five minutes.
Instantly, God said to me, “I will possess you with the faith to call life out of death”, and from that day, what Papa Wigglesworth said to me in that encounter made me to become GENERATIONALLY-CONSCIOUS.
Wigglesworth himself transfered the baton to Lester Surmall and then from Lester Surmall to people like Rod Parsley.
So, it’s not just about “you” beloved; it’s about “GENERATIONS”.
Generational gap or Generational transfer? The choice is ours!!!
In closing, one thing is certain; God in this generation is closing the gap between THE FATHERS’ GENERATION and THE CHILDREN GENERATION so that THE BLESSING is released in full measures for generational continuity.
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
I sincerely do trust the Lord that the Holy Spirit will use this little contribution to spark a new conciousness in our generation for His Glory alone and for the advancement of the cause of Christ on earth.
Thanks for your time Sirs and Mas!!!
Source: Bimbo Animashaun Teaching Ministries |Published with permission