It is an undeniable fact that today adult was once a youth, just as today adult with time will naturally give way for today’s youth.
Here the pertinent question is how to guarantee an adult-youth leadership transition that will preserve our cherished legacy. This is because this leadership transition cuts across every sphere of life’s endeavor. It is the same whether in religious, business, political, sport or administrative circle.
A break in the adult-youth leadership transition will not only jettison the legacy and goodwill of the progenitors but also, dash the hope of the upcoming generation.
Now, how do we ensure a seamless adult-youth leadership transition that will guarantee the continuation of our cherished family, church and national values! A look around at every sphere of life show a distortion of these basic values once celebrated politically, religiously, and as a family.
Since life generally is not a hundred meter dash, but a marathon relay. You take over from where someone stops or you handover to another person. Just as you know in a relay race the point of handing over the baton to the next athlete can mean the difference between winning and losing the race.
The crux of the matter here is what went wrong with the generation after Joshua. This issue of adult-youth leadership transition is not a blame-shift game, but fix the missing link. So, this generation can pass the baton correctly to the next generation before the Lord returns. The generation after Joshua handed poorly the adult-youth leadership transition baton to the next generation due to some following reasons. Judges 2:8-15
1.The trap of comfort: God guided Joshua and the Elders that lived in his time through several wars, miracles and victory before getting to the Promised Land. Now, they are comforted and their need of God wanes. You know we’ll pray our heartfelt prayers during our dire needs. Hence, their reliance on God reduces so their kids follow in the same pattern and see no need of God or the history of his deeds.
2.Wrong priority on the part of the parent: As soon as each tribe got their inheritance they all sank into spiritual complacency and the loss of their spiritual passion for God sets in. Then, what their children see is a shadow of their parents’ commitment to God. The commandment of God to the nation of Israel is clear in the transition of Godly virtues. And this adult-youth leadership transition hinges on God’s word. We see the parents of this generation committing the same blunder as we focus on political, academic, social and financial accomplishment to the detriment of our children’s spiritual and moral well-being.
Today, most parents have next to no time for their children. Either in an attempt to make ends meet, keep up with the Joneses or build a personal empire. So, we allocate the time to teach the coming generation family, spiritual and societal value to other things. Worse are the career people who have enough money to throw around to buy anything but morality.
Thus, we have delegated the personal attention that will guarantee the transition of these virtues to nanny, chauffeur, school, and the Sunday school teachers.
3. Bad Example: There is nothing more confusing as someone who says one thing and doing something to the contrary.
Perhaps, the adult-youth leadership transition flaws saw in the generation after Joshua would have been averted if not for the hypocritical lifestyle of most of their leaders.
If parents teach something about God’s goodness and attend worship, but their life outside, home, in business, is the opposite the young ones will be confused and naturally, they’ll follow the convenient part.
Therefore, adult-youth leadership transition of good virtues and heritage will be a mirage and the next generation will be worse for it if the parents are not serious with God. A look at the books of Judges and the Kings reveal the people have no mind of their own. If the king is bad, the whole nation goes bad. When a good king is on the throne, the whole nation becomes good.
4.No youth inclusion: The essence of adult-youth leadership transition is to ensure the youth and young people keeps up the faith of the fathers, celebrate family, societal and Godly principles. In order to achieve that parent must carry their children along. Meanwhile, what you’re doing and its purpose must be clear to the young ones.
We have a native saying that a deity you’re serving without carrying your children along will soon go into extension. It implies Joshua and the elders that lived after him failed to have a seamless adult-youth leadership transition because they weren’t involving their kids in the spiritual exploit as did Moses to Joshua.
5.Compliance was not enforced: Adult-youth leadership transition compliance will become possible when adult enforces the principle on their young one. Naturally, nobody will want to follow rules unless you enforce it. Perhaps Joshua and the leaders after him gave too much freedom to their children. Conversely, this is against the commandment of God. The worse is this our generation of human rights and child abuse laws when the parent will sometimes take excessive precautions in the name of constitution compliance. The result is a lawless society we see today.
The statement of Eli to his children about their unholy attitude shows no parental compliance with God’s injunction. Consequently, this led to the loss of the priesthood of Eli’s family.
6.Improper education: I think those young lineages after Joshua and the elders that followed were not properly tutored. The popularity of eternal security and why the doctrine of the eternal security sells is not unconnected with improper education.
There are monuments set up at several intervals and places in the journey of the Israelite to ensure a smooth adult-youth leadership transition from one generation to another. God specifically gave reasons for each of the events and parents are to educate and explain each of these special occasions and sites to the understanding of the youths so, they wouldn’t lose track of the genealogy of their lineage.
It is not enough to say this is our heritage, but, to explain why we cherish it, why it should be preserved and followed. Apart from that parents should give the benefit of following the standard and the result of flouting the rule. With that youths would readily fall in line. But compliance will be difficult by the new generation if you cannot answer their inquiries.
7.No personal experience: The adult-youth leadership transition was easier with Moses and Joshua because of Joshua’s personal experience. But, the generation that followed had none. So, if the parent church or nation leaders desire continuity of good virtues, we must all ensure young people have personal experience of what we are saying.
For instance, Salvation must be a personal experience. A personal walk with God will make adult-youth leadership transition easier. Joshua was with Moses on the mountain when the former went to receive the Ten Commandments. He was an assistant to Moses. Exodus. 24:13-18; 33:7-11. Therefore, Godly parents and other spiritual leaders must guide our young people to a personal encounter with God.
8.The youth ignored history: Whosoever ignores history will repeat the previous mistake. The transition between adult and youth will be seamless if the youth will take time to ask questions, follow the good model and decide to preserve the family heritage in spite of the divergent opinion and negative influence around them.
It is obvious the new king Pharaoh and Belshazzar were not ignorant of history but decided to choose a wrong path that resulted in disaster for them. Therefore adult-youth leadership transition deficiency is not only the part of the older generation but on the new generation as well.
This was what we saw in Samuel and Eli’s children. These two great prophets had an impeccable record, but their children chose otherwise. In every generation, there are both good and bad influences. Joseph and Daniel though in a foreign land opted to live for God without any mentor to follow. Today’s youth can also follow suit.
Every generation holds it a duty to defend their core value and ensure a smooth adult-youth leadership transition if their labor will not be a waste.
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Author: Joseph Akinrinola
Joseph Akinrinola is a Pastor, Sunday school management coach, author, blogger, and a motivational speaker.
Joseph created this blog to help young Christians establish their
feet in Christ, and to provide Biblical time-tested answers to life’s
questions about relationship, christian living and personal development.