As some of you know, we were recently at the AISH Leadership Summit put on by the YMJA in Orlando. This gathering is a time for the current leaders of the Messianic Movement to pour into, empower and raise up this generation's leaders. We have only attended this year's Summit, but after talking to our latest guest Marc Vidito as well as countless others confirming the same, this year was significantly different. There was a fervor and a holy frustration, we'll call it, to see progress and change and MOVEMENT in this community. We discussed this at length with Marc both on the show and off, and he brought up some really incredible points.
"At this summit," Marc said, "[the current leadership] believed they were really looking at the next leaders." This is huge and exciting for all of us. Marc called the Summit the next necessary step for the Messianic Movement, and he is right. Current leadership is looking to the next generation to step up and have their torches lit. The problem with that though, is that "if we keep talking about the next generation, they're never going to be THIS generation." The "next generation" really is not this futuristic idea, it is a tangible and relevant presence that is here and ready. Marc explained that the excitement among leadership for this generation is wonderful, but there are some things that must happen on both sides in order for our torches to be lit: the young leaders must respect what has gone before and the current leaders must recognize the up and comers and give them a chance to try. There must be mutual respect for any successful transition to take place. Of course the new leaders will do things differently, because we are products of our current culture, but our roots are the same as those who have gone thousands of years before us. That is where we must always go back to, and that will enable us to be effective leaders. God's ways are eternal and universal, ministering to every generation. As Paul Wilbur said in the worship track "the message is holy, not the methods."
Marc gave a really beautiful image of what "passing the torch" should look like. When we hear that phrase, we generally envision a person handing off the torch to the next and then sitting down, but that is not how Marc describes it. In a relay race, the only way to effectively pass the torch is to slow down a bit so that the next runner can grab a hold. This means, that for a period of time, the two are running together as one. It is only after that that the second runner can pick up speed and continue the race. This is spot on. We are in a beautiful time in which we must run this race at the same pace with our current leaders. It is a time to glean wisdom and embrace humility and gain the confidence that we will need to be effective leaders on our own two feet. They will encourage us and, God willing, we can encourage them. It's an intense and important time to be alive and to be effective for the Kingdom of God.
Needless to say, this show with Marc was really incredible. There was so much more we discussed including the future of Messianic music and the relationship between the Messianic Community and the Christian Community. Make sure to listen to it here. Also, make sure to check out Marc's blog posts at The Messianic Times to hear more of his heart on these matters!
Toby + Brooke