The Next Generation

millennials“So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.”  Ps. 71:18 (ESV)

Chapter         (ESV)

Audio              (2:48)

The Barna Group has found that among those with a Christian background born between the early 1980’s and 2000 (known as generation Y or the millennials), 59% have at some point stopped going to church after having attended regularly. In addition, over half of millennials have been significantly frustrated by their faith and are less involved in church compared to when they were 15. The Barna Group refers to this age group as spiritually homeless.

Any faith that is not somehow passed from one generation to the next will quickly die out. The anonymous writer of this Psalm recognizes this important fact. But instead of simply declaring the need to pass the faith on to the next generation, the writer specifically requests to be given the time to be personally involved in that process. The Psalmist recognizes that each of us has a role to play in ensuring that the truth about God is passed onto the next generation.

A very effective means for passing our faith on to the generation that follows is through mentoring. Mentoring at first sounds quite complicated and difficult. However, when properly understood, mentoring is simply the process of passing on life experience and knowledge to those who are younger. This life experience of course would include our experience and knowledge of God. For many years in ancient times, mentoring was the main form of teaching, even in medicine. With the development of formal schools, mentoring became less common, though it still has its place.

If you are someone who has been in medicine for some time and like the Psalmist mentions, have begun to show a few gray hairs, you have something to share with those who are younger. Consider giving some regular time each week to a younger colleague or resident.

If you are in medical school, residency, or just starting out in practice, there are untold benefits you could reap by spending time with someone who has been down the same road before you and seems content in their faith. Consider reaching out to them.

Prayer: Lord, open my eyes to the benefits of drawing alongside others who are walking the same path.

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