AG Youth, Elders Bridge Gap at General Council

While the elder generation and younger generation of Assemblies of God spent the first week of August attending separate gatherings, both groups were able to share a convenant together during the closing service of the 51st General Council led entirely by youth.

The youth had just spent the week attending the AG National Youth Convention, held from August 2-6, at the Colorado Convention Center but joined the General Council at the Pepsi Center for the Friday evening service.

“Letting the youth lead the service lets them know that they’re part of the family,” said Dave Goerzen, pastor of Parker Christian Center near Denver. “It also sends them a message that the General Council values and respects them.”

During the service, over 18,000 people worshipped along with the Jeff Deyo Band and listened to a sermon delivered by Bryan Jarrett, senior pastor of First Assembly of God in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

Jarrett acknowledged the gap between the elder and younger generations in his sermon but said the two must unite together.

“On the one hand we have the elder generation,” he said. “Many of them have given their lives as missionaries, pastors, and hard working lay people to guard and further the full gospel message. Tonight, they long for someone in whom they can deposit their faith. However, they are very reluctant to make that deposit for fear that their faith, their church, the Trust will be diluted, altered, or even forsaken.

“On the other hand we have the younger generation,” Jarrett continued. Although the youth are passionate in expanding the church, “they have become confused with our shifting convictions that change with the cultural tides.”

Jarrett suggested that in order for the denomination to continue to thrive, the blessings must be inherited from one generation to the next.

“If the blessing is withheld, the blessing will die with the older generation in the next 20 or 30 years, and the Assemblies of God will never be what it was before,” he said.

But showing his faith in the youth, Jarrett, who had earlier credited Assemblies of God youth ministry for his spiritual upbringing, said, “These young people are going to reform our Movement, or they are going to leave it and start another one like our forefathers did four generations ago.”

He then asked the elder generation make a convenant to pray blessings to the younger generation and led the younger generation in accepting the convenant.