Tell the Next Generation Conference
“Tell the Next Generation” is all about passing on our faith to the next generation as taught within the family unit. It’s based on Psalm 78: 6-7, “that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments”. But this isn’t a new church program, instead it’s a refocusing and a shift from relying solely on the church to train youth, to have parents and family play an active role in passing on the faith. Rev. Steven Andrews, Associate Pastor at Saint Matthew Lutheran Church in Lee’s Summit notes, “For a long time, we’ve been trying to pass on the faith to the next generation in a way other than God designed it...and it’s failing miserably. This initiative is seeking to return to God’s design, and that’s always a good thing.”
From January 4-7, 2022 church workers from across Missouri gathered for the “Tell the Next Generation” coaches’ training at Heit’s Point in Lutheran Camp in Lincoln. Training and discussion was led by Ben Freudenburg, who serves as Executive Director for Concordia Center for the Family. Attendees started the process of becoming certified as trainer-coaches by Concordia Center for the Family. From there, the District will partner with churches to help them grow their ministries.
“This is not about buying a program or adding another program to your church,” states Larry Yochum Director of Youth Ministry at St. John’s in Arnold. “The ‘family ministry tweak’ is taking what you have, and how to take that one thing and make it an opportunity for parents and sharing faith for kids.”
The training will continue with monthly meetings until trainees are fully certified. “Our congregations talk about what we are working towards, but struggle to make the transition,” says Angie Brenner who serves as DCE at Trinity in Jefferson City. “I am excited about the roadmap with specific steps to help congregations with this transition.”
“Tell the Next Generation” also serves as the theme for the upcoming District Convention, held June 12-14, 2022.