Cody Archer and Andrew Ben-Arii
In 1 Samuel 13:19-22 we see the people of Israel in a dangerous predicament, with no ability to defend themselves against their enemies:
Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, “Lest the Hebrew’s make swords or spears.”… So it came about, on the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan. But they were found with Saul and Jonathan his son.
For the body of Messiah around the world, we believe this is a prophetic picture of the dangerous circumstances that we find ourselves in today. Like king Saul, we have senior leaders with much authority, anointing, and spiritual weapons, but few of them have been putting these weapons in the hands of the next generation. Many have built large churches and ministries, become popular and “in demand;” yet often they travel the world ministering and building their ministry by themselves – without raising up spiritual sons and daughters to one day take over and expand what they have started.
Being a blacksmith is not an easy or desirable job. Few people notice you or your work. It is not a high paying career choice. Who wants to labor in the heat of a sweltering furnace, day after day, in order to put weapons in the hands of the next generation’s heroes knowing that your own honor and glory will not be sounded from the rooftops today?
Real Leaders Raise Up Other Leaders
The success of many congregations and ministries over the next 25 years depends greatly on senior leaders intentionally equipping the next generation of leaders. If this will not happen, many popular ministries today will not exist 25 years from now.
As so-called “millennials,” (those born between the early 80’s and early 2000) we see in our generation a desire to learn how to fight, to lead, and to advance the kingdom of God. However a lack of personal, relationship-based equipping seems to be the big hindrance for us in stepping up. We look up to our firmly established leaders who have years of experience and success, and the idea of their baton of leadership and oversight suddenly being passed to us is either an overwhelming idea, or we are completely uninterested. This is because before that could ever happen, we want to work together with our senior leaders, to learn practically what they do and how they do it. Even more than that, we want to receive by impartation their vision, their values, and their passion. Only then, with the right amount of relational investment and practical equipping over the span of many years from our senior leaders, will we be confident enough and ready to take the baton when they are ready to pass it.
No Time to Waste
We are moving towards the greatest spiritual battle in human history. The greatest pressures and challenges the global body of Messiah has ever faced, along with the greatest revival and spiritual harvest ever seen are knocking on our door. It is urgent that we begin to put weapons in the hands of the next generation and this must become a priority NOW. It will require much time, effort and humility, but we have no other choice. Without the hearts of the older and younger generation turning to each other, we open the door to a global curse (Mal 4:6).
As representatives of our generation, we are asking for your help. We cannot do this alone. Together, we can stop this curse in its tracks and welcome in a new season of righteousness and blessing around the world. We not only need your help; we want it. Will you answer the call of the most fatherless generation this world has ever seen? Will you continue to pursue our hearts even after we have rejected you? Don’t give up on us. We care a lot more than you might think.
(Note: We are privileged to serve under and together with Asher Intrater. He is a rare senior leader today who is equipping and releasing young leaders with much fruit. The body of Messiah around the world has much to learn from his example in this area.)