Dear NextGen Family and Community:

Because I was away for vacation two weeks (it was glorious, thank you!) that put us behind a week on our articles, so we are sending out two this week to catch up.

This one comes from Fran Patt, a dear and faithful friend to the family. He has been with NGLC since it’s first days and gives much time, energy and spiritual input to helping the week happen every year. His faithfulness and encouragement are a big reason we are here. 

We hope you are blessed by his words now, as I know we always are!  

Looking forward to April, 

Shawna O’Neill

We live in a culture that views the world in a rationalistic way. In this world, cause and effect determine outcomes. Business plans, strategies and the best methodology are considered certain winners. I should begin by saying that this is not what the Bible says and it is also not what I have seen to be true. 

I have spent the last forty years of my life helping younger men and women prepare for ministry and primarily cross-cultural ministry. What I have witnessed in others and experienced in myself is that success begins by using metrics that measure the right indicators and metrics that recognize what is truly success from a Kingdom focus and Jesus centric point of view.

Success in life and ministry is not about how much money we have or how many people raise their hands to an altar call. It is ultimately measured in whether my allegiance is growing to Jesus or not. For the younger men and women embarking in ministry, success will be about personal transformation. Are they learning what it means to follow Jesus? Are they increasingly willing to pay the price that being transformed will require of them? Have they made sacred space in their lives and hearts where they can wrap themselves in stillness and listen?

God is not always logical on our terms. Sometimes, His will leads us into what appears to be the valley of the shadow of death, but in that eventuality, He is with us. The world was created by Jesus and for Him. Men and women from every tribe, tongue and nation are prepared and appointed to respond to Jesus and only Jesus.

So Success is all about the strenuous and meticulous process of daily transformation. The only measure of success that matters is am I more like Jesus today than I was yesterday? The extent to which people see Jesus in me will determine success.

I have been blessed to give the Next Gen Leaders Conferences a home under our organizational roof for almost a decade because being a part of the planning, and execution of the times have brought me closer to Jesus. I have seen Jesus growing in Jim and Sterling, Shawna and Shane, Matt and Virgil, Josh and Chris. The leadership of this team together is passionate about Jesus and we are passionately praying for men and women to attend who are also.

I cannot think of a better way to spend a week of my life than with a room full of men and women who love my Lord, Jesus. This time together is all about fostering what truly matters in life and ministry and leads us to Kingdom focused success. What could be better than that?

-Fran Patt