John Mark, Luke, Timothy, Epaphroditus, Titus, and Demas.
Layton, Chris, Robin, Matt, Adam, Dustin, Tyler, Caleb, Alex, Logan, Jonathan.
What are these two lists?
The first is a list of young men that Paul mentored (or at least the ones he named – I suspect there are others that we do not know of, people we will only meet in heaven). He taught them, had them help in his missionary travels, had them help in the teaching and preaching as the gospel spread. Even when they had their own ministries, he wrote to them, encouraged them, prayed for them.
The second? It’s just the beginning of a list of young men that my Daddy, Stan Mitchell, mentored. He taught them, counseled them, invited them to preach at his congregation. He listened to them, drank coffee with them, prayed for them, encouraged them.
He has always been someone who notices young people. At every congregation, he would purposefully and thoughtfully cultivate relationships – with children, with teenagers, with young adults. He always had an eye for the future and was so very, very careful of how he would influence them.
How do I know? He did the same with me. I have been blessed with 29 years of Stan Mitchell mentoring. Years he spent training, listening, counseling, teaching, encouraging, and praying – for me. And I can honestly say, that “ he still speaks, even though he is dead” (Hebrews 11:4).
One way he still speaks is through his writing. His most recently published book Will Our Faith Have Children? is about this very thing: making sure that his faith is passed on, not just to me but to my children. To my children’s children. To your children’s children.
Is this a book that you could find useful? Is this a book that could help you to more purposefully mentor, develop and encourage the next generation for Christ? That can help develop your own faith?
Why don’t you let my Daddy tell you about it?
Building for the Next Generation
His name is Gideon Mitchell Watts. He is my grandson, and as I write these words, he is 8 months old. This book is about him.
It takes skill, patience and intent to build something. Some have served the Lord by placing one brick at a time in the walls of the church for decades. There are younger people who are sharpening their skill sets with the great intention of building. Thank God for both kinds of people!
It takes skill to build; anyone can tear down. That takes no care and skill at all. Just a rock to throw at what others have built with such care.
I am definitely, distinctly in the first group. I am a little astonished to find myself there. I began to preach in 1975. You do the math. I hope I will have more years to serve the sweetest master who ever lived, but I also know the day will come when the Lord will, gently, take the trowel from my hand and ease me to the ground.
I hope when that happens that there will be others, from the second group, who are ready to continue what was built. No wrecking balls, no sledge hammers, only trowels and mortar.
This book is not just about the next generation, but the one after that, and the one that follows. It is about my grandson, who one day will delight in learning that his name appears in a book written by his grandfather.
But what I want, more than love for money, is for his name to be written in another book, the book of life (Revelation 20:12).
One day Gideon will hold his lamp aloft and cry, “A sword for the Lord, and Gideon” (Judges 7:20).
If you would like to order a copy of
Will Our Faith Have Children? Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation
Equipping the Saints for the Ministry
Chris and Tracy Watts
108 North Creek Ave.
Bartlesville, OK 74003
Or click here to order online (simply click on the book you would like and follow the instructions).