NextGen Pacesetters

I’m excited about the future of our three eldest grandchildren who are moving into their adult years! Ben and Brady just graduated from their high schools and are headed off to college this August. Brady is attending his mother’s alma mater at the University of Missouri, Columbia, and Ben is attending Texas State University in San Marcos. Ben has chosen Biology as his major (and maybe will double it to include art!) and Brady will be majoring in Business. They are expecting to continue to work for Walmart and Lowes for the next four years as well. They are gifted, ambitious, and have some big dreams!

Granddaughter Tech Support

Chloe will be a junior this year. She is an A student in her home school program. Good humored and artistic in her temperament, she enjoys creating art pieces and entertaining videos for family and friends. She sings on the Delta church praise team alongside her mother. Who knows how God will use her talents in these next years? Everything is speeding by so quickly! It only seemed yesterday that her sweet little face and beautiful blond hair first delighted us with an ever-expanding vocabulary and such animated expressions! I can’t believe that we just celebrated her latest accomplishment – the passing of her written and behind the wheel driving tests! What happened to our little girl? šŸ˜Š

When it comes to technology, Monique and I subscribe to the saying, when you need tech support, ask a young person! And we do! The younger teachers (some of whom Mrs. Keppler taught in second grade back in the day!) are always so good to work with Monique when she substitutes by helping her to set up the smart boards and class computers before class time!  I can’t number the occasions when our own grands have helped us to set up our phones, learn new user tips, and offer tech support for other devices. I have found that the youth of our day are skillfully patient, eager to engage and willing to share their talent! And you know what? We need what they have to offer!

We’re members of a multi-generational church family. Springfield First UMC values all ages, yet we realize that to remain viable and growing, we must continue to reach the next generation of youth and young adults for Christ. There is a wealth of energy, creativity, and talent in this next generation. This past Sunday, we enjoyed seeing our summer youth intern singing while playing her guitar on the worship stage. She also participated with a group of peers in an entertaining skit that supported the current sermon series. I am grateful that our staff and members are so willing to mentor and encourage these NextGen leaders. We can learn so much from our young people and their involvement in the community of faith!

In the Bible you discover many instances of youthful service for Christ. We need to remember that at the age of thirty, Jesus began His earthly ministry. The Lord called men and women to work alongside of Him who were young adults and likely in their twenties. The Apostle Paul had a vision for reaching the next generation. He mentored Timothy and encouraged him with this wise counsel, “Instruct and teach the people all that I have taught you. And don’t be intimidated by those who are older than you; simply be the example they need to see by being faithful and true in all you do. Speak the truth and live a life of purity and authentic love as you remain strong in your faith.” (1 Timothy 4:11-12, TPT).

Paul’s confidence in Timothy emboldened this young man. It allowed him to serve challenging churches comprising individuals of different ages and from divergent backgrounds and cultures. As we champion, believe in, and encourage the youth of our day, can you imagine the impact this will have on the work of Christ and His church? Build up a young person today!

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,

active churchman and
doting grandparent.




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