Hello Dear Friends, 

Each week from now through the end of April, we will send one article from different speakers & mentors to help prepare your hearts and give you food for thought and some practices in preparation for our time together. I know many of you will not be joining us for the NGLC this year in April, but we wanted you to have these anyways and hope you find them encouraging. In joyful courtesy we are trusting you will be blessed by them and can pray with us as we prepare. 

Here is Article #1 from Jim O’Neill to help set the stage for the week. Please read all the way through as there is an Action Step at the end.

Blessings to you all,

Shawna O’Neill

The Opening Salvo for the April 27-May 1, 2020 Next Gen Leaders Community

 Greetings to our delegates, mentors and lead team:

We are but a few months away from our April rendezvous in VA.  From this week forward you’ll see a short article sent to us all from our speakers and some of the lead team. The goal is to prepare our souls to be filled with anticipation toward life in Jesus.

I do not want you coming into the week all exhausted from ministry and running on fumes. This happens. Spend weekly time in sabbath rest listening well to our Lord as HE prepares us for our week. My goal for the week is a bit audacious. Here it is dear friends.

Commit to spending the next 20, 30 or 40 years as God grants life, to press into your soul the two key functions as noted in the conference theme. Make them big and make them personal. You, Jesus, His Word and Prayer as guiding lights.

Yes. Spend the rest of your life giving careful attention to soul practice of Word and Prayer. I could not wish for anything more exciting than this for you, for us!!

Our theme for the week may be the most important we’ve done to date in our Next Gen efforts, dating back to 2003. Building upon the amazing yet simple conclusions of the apostles as to their core functions in this newly formed community of Jesus follows, they would ‘devote themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word.’

Here is how I’ve framed it for our week: ‘Soul Care: the intersection of the Word and Prayer in the life of a leader.’ I’ve added this as we engage ministry partners…’impacting team and task’.

These two foundational, fundamental functions guided the apostles. Pretty amazing if you ask me. How did they arrive at just these two?

They had a ring side seat into the life of Jesus for three years. This ONE for whom they would commit all in service for the Kingdom apparently distilled down two practices in the life of Jesus that would be crucial in their task to ‘disciple all nations.’

May I suggest they pulled these two from Jesus’ Kingdom plan.

Thus, I want us to press in for this week to consider how we can create the practices and disciplines to guide our own souls in prayer and the Word. And do it over time…many years in fact. Don’t let up on these two-no matter what else your org or church requires for you. This will be your gift to your soul. Ministry requires a pouring out of service. Let these two functions aid in replenishing your soul…for a lifetime of service. HOW THRILLING!!!!!

And, may I challenge you to set your sights on impacting your team, our Majority World brethren and any God places under your charge to see that as they peer into your life, they see prayer and Word as your core. And they pass it along to their sphere of influence.  

ACTION for this week: I ask everyone coming to give concerted time to reading thru the book of Acts to see how these two practices played out on the stage of great Gospel advance.


Jim O’Neill