Patty: It’s funny how so many Hallmark type movies depict grown children resisting their parents' desires for them to take on the family business. The children are usually shown as being creative and wanting to spread their wings in an attempt to find their own identity. This often involves them moving far away from their home. Of course, we always emotionally sided with the children as being justified in not wanting to be forced into the restrictive mold of their parents' desires. But this narrative is a far cry from the expectations of the Kingdom where God wants, even commands, all his children to take on the family business: the business of extending his kingdom on earth and living a Kingdom life on earth as it is in heaven. Generational continuity is expected, though of course each person uniquely and creatively lives out that expression in his own divinely led way. What is learned in one generation is passed on to the next. I love Psalm 78 that admonishes us to teach our children the deeds, the wonders of God as well as the statutes and laws of the Lord.
2 I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old—
3 things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.
5 He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children,
6 so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children
We are interconnected: who we are is a product of who went before us; what we do affects future generations. We reap what we haven’t sown and we sow so that others – who follow after us – can reap. We do not serve just ourselves. We are to keep in mind the whole picture of what God is doing generationally. This is why we are so keen on generational transfer in Tikkun and spend so much time teaching, equipping and training the next generation of leadership. In order for Messianic Judaism, or any movement, to survive, there must be generational connectedness. Scripture refers many times to “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” By faith each of the patriarchs blessed their children with regard to their future and the promises of God and their fulfillment. We too should do the same with regard to our own children and the promises of God.
Our oldest son, Benjamin, whose name means “son of my right hand,” will come on as an associate apostle in the Tikkun America Network this summer. He truly has taken on the stature of this name, and we hope to include him more and more in these communiques. We have always seen what we do as a family “business”: the “business” of the kingdom of God. The Emerging Leaders conference is just one venue we are using to help us in Tikkun to implement and promote our values of generational connectedness and transfer.