The day I called out a former drug dealer at a pastors gathering was a turning point in his life. J.J. Ramirez was saved off the streets and, after some discipleship, went back to those same streets to minister the gospel. But, until that day, he always felt out of place among other pastors and ministers. He wrote me a note saying: "In a man's life and ministry, I believe he must be pointed out by great men of faith. Even Jesus was pointed out by His Father. Doug, you came and pointed me out."
Today, J.J. and his team at SOS Ministries in Bryan/College Station, Texas, are rescuing lives every day through their after-school programs, youth ministry, life skills training, men's home and other outreaches. They are determined that no young life in their city would slip through the cracks.
In Old Testament Scripture, Samuel represented a new generation of righteous judge and prophet. But he also carried the God-given ability of recognizing the calling and gifts in young leaders, like a shepherd boy named David. He was used by God to call them forth into their destinies. Today, God is calling us to do the same.
Like J.J. and so many other leaders we have been privileged to partner with, today's emerging generation is extreme, radical, passionate and full of zeal. But when they are called out by an older generation of Samuels, they can be emboldened and empowered to walk into their destinies. They are desperate for change and for those who will come alongside them to give them what I call the "3 A's": affirmation, acceptance and approval.
God wants to unite the wisdom and resources of the former generation with the passion and zeal of the emerging generation. That's why we need a renewed passion and pursuit for God's presence which will ignite a leadership awakening. We need to be leaders who, like Samuel, will not look to the outward appearances, but into the heart of those He is calling forth.
To hear this message in its entirety, listen to this week's episode of A Word in Season with Doug Stringer and Friends on the Charisma Podcast Network.
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