“Intentional collaboration” is a term of art within GACX. The coordination, alignment, and partnership necessary to push forward the 5-million church vision cannot be left to happenstance or afterthought. Our alliance usually speaks of this value in the context of organizational-level connections, but it can also encompass the intentional collaboration of generations. The “Genos Initiative” will officially launch at the upcoming GACX Global Forum in Minneapolis. For the last several months, a team of “next generation” leaders representing several GACX members have gathered by video conference to discuss and envision ways in which the younger generations can be better strengthened and equipped to lead the multiplication of disciples and churches. “Genos” comes from the Greek word for “generations.” This word was chosen to identify that this effort is about relationship, not replacement; and the goal is collaboration, not competition. Where the world would foster animosity between generations, the love of Christ and a shared Kingdom mission brings the respectful harmony necessary for collaboration. “We are working to create a collaborative environment which also serves as an accelerator for the leadership capacity and ministry input of the younger leaders,” notes Stephen Nelms, who leads GACX member GospeLink. “We will organize cohort groups to ‘meet-up’ periodically, with the end result being to realize the full-utilization of the upcoming leaders within our member organization and GACX at large.” Bringing together next-generation leaders has been a special emphasis for this year’s GACX Forum. During a breakout session on Wednesday afternoon and at other times during the Forum, Genos Initiative leaders will be sharing vision and taking the next steps towards building cross-generational collaboration between GACX members. Some goals will include:
Helping GACX members strategically accelerate the input and involvement of leaders in the next and emerging generations.
Facilitate the well-rounded, “cross-pollinated” development of younger leaders by creating training and mentorship opportunities with current leaders from different GACX members.
Building relationships between younger and emerging leaders which will strengthen collaborative ties for the future.
Maximize the potential of upcoming leaders to bring insight and innovation into both current and new endeavors within GACX and member organization.
God’s Word provides many good examples of cross-generational partnerships — Elijah and Elisha, Paul and Timothy. But one scripture has always stood out to me as a great model for the interplay or generations in the church. On the day of Pentecost, Peter explains what’s happened by quoting the prophet Joel to the gathered crowd:
“‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams.”
In this intersection of youthful vision and the dreams of elders we can expect to find God doing something new and powerful in our day.