A while ago, my pastor, CHLF’s Hanna Eid, asked me if the youth of the church would like to run a whole Saturday service from beginning to end (our church's primary service is held on Saturday evening each week). This was a great opportunity for our growing youth group to share their heart with the rest of the church. So we sat down and prepared for something special.
Saturday, March the 11th, everything was set, the youth came early and prepared for the special service. Pastor Hanna stood up and explained to the church that the service will be run by the youth, and one of the youth opened in prayer. Then we spent some time in worship which also was led by the youth, and the church quickly filled to capacity.
After worship, two of the young people briefly shared about the church’s first seed and how it grew. Gathering the information for this part of the service was overwhelming with many amazing things that the Lord has done in the church over the years. Sometimes we focus on the current situations and we forget that God has a bigger plan; the big picture. This helped us see that even when things seemed to go wrong God was doing something great.
Then I shared a message from Psalm 127. I focused on two things, as that Psalm does: the first is that we can do nothing of our own power; the second is the relationship between the younger and older generation in the church. More often than not it seems that the church is split into two generations (at least) separate from each other. But we wanted to emphasize unity in the church and that we need to be one unit.
When I finished my message we split the church into small groups (below). Each group sat down with at least one of the youth to get to know them better and vice versa. As we prepared for this special service we feared this would be weird. And so it was for the first few minutes, but when time was up they asked for more time
What came next was one of the most emotional and intimate things the church has ever done. We stood in a circle so we could all see each other, and we proceeded in identifying the different generations that form this one body. Then I asked my grandpa (in whose house this ministry started, and the oldest person in the church) to come forward along with pastor Hanna.
And as Elisha took the cloak of Elijah, my grandpa (left) placed a piece of cloth around pastor Hanna’s shoulders (right) and prayed for him for double the spirit, as Elisha inherited from Elijah. Then we gathered all the age-group of pastor Hanna and stood them in the middle and prayed over them.
Then we asked one of the youth to come forward representing the youth, and pastor Hanna handed him a bow and some arrows, representing the arrows in the hands of a warrior mentioned in Psalm 127. Then we asked the youth to stand in the middle while we prayed over them. I remember realizing for the first time how many young people come to church and how powerful they really are!
After that we asked my grandpa to come forward again, and this time the young person who received the bow and arrows handed my grandpa a shepherd’s staff. I explained that this was to represent the staff of Moses. To the untrained eye a staff in the hands of an old person can seem as a sign of his weakness, but as the staff was in the hands of Moses it was a sign of power.
Then we stood all three representatives of these three generations in the middle and we had them hold a scroll. This scroll represents what unites these three generations together, and it also represents the commitment to teach the younger generations, and generations to come, the Word of God.
Pastor Hanna closed with a prayer. We lingered around, we did not want to leave. We all felt like one family, just as Jesus had intended for His disciples to be. We know God is preparing something big in Eilabun. He is saying that He is doing something new, that it will spring forth. Our prayer is to be aware of it!
It is also worth noting that this event is actually part of the fruit of what God is doing, as it was a direct result of the 3rd Annual Holiday Youth Conference we held back in January. God is working in these young people, and apparently through them, as well!
More photos from "Generation to Generation"...