Coming from a charismatic/prophetic background, I've heard plenty of hype directed at both the young people and the older people about being the Joshua generation. The language of destiny, calling, and gifting is used to suggest potential greatness in the kingdom of God.
When the prophetic becomes twisted toward fluff and flattery it loses the life and power that it should have in our lives. Sadly, rather than the truth of encouragement and exhortation, we can begin feeding on the hype like a diet of marshmallows and cotton candy.
I cringe when the exhortations to young people are laced with the unfulfilled dreams and expectations of the older generation. In my mind, this is like hanging a burden on their necks to make up for our own failures, like armchair quarterbacks attempting to live our dreams through our children.
Robbymac has a great post with thoughts about this topic. He speaks of permission-giving relational leaders.
And what of greatness in the kingdom? Isn't this supposed to be a life of downward mobility, moving towards insignificance, service, and self-sacrifice? Perhaps we do our children a disservice by expecting them to change the world, if in doing so we fail to prepare them for the ordinary Christian life.
Can they experience the fullness of their Christian walk amidst the everyday life of bills, jobs, and real-life stuff? Have we taught them that their calling can only be expressed in vocational ministry or missions? Or are we equipping them to live out their gifts and callings among friends, neighbors, and co-workers?
What I hope is that in equipping and mentoring our youth, we give them dreams and visions with substance, not empty hype. Can I lead my children by example, or do I expect them to go where I've been unable or unwilling to go myself? For me, this began with letting go of the hype myself, the promises of position and importance, and embracing a life of service, embarking on the journey to love others.
Yes, let's do everything in our power to equip, encourage, and empower our children to walk closely with God, to experience the life of Christ, and to be led by His Spirit. Let's inspire them with the incredible greatness of our God and the adventure of walking closely with Him.