Speaking at the International Campus Leadership Conference in Ikogosi, Ekiti State yesterday on the topic “Spiritual Evolution” led to a deep moment of realization – it became obvious that we were at the crossroad of several of generations.
Building from the fact that we are called to grow or evolve in four key areas- the intellectual (wisdom), the physical (stature), the spiritual (favor with God) and the emotional/social (favor with men), the experience inspired me to compare the campus generation I was speaking to with mine of close to 3 decades ago.
When I got converted on campus in the Technical University of Berlin in 1992, the focus during that era was on spiritual growth. Emphasis on academic excellence wasn’t as strong. It was a thing honor for me to give up school two years later to return to the African continent as a full-time missionary. Many of us from that generation would go plant churches, face the odds of persecution especially from our family members due to estrangement. In the early 2000s a number of us would leave full-time ministry in search for balance. It was clear to me that I needed to catch up with academics and personal development to the extent of getting a corporate job after completing a degree in my late thirties.
My observation has been that the new generation has seen academics emphasized over spirituality to a certain extent – probably in an effort to strike the right balance. With the advent of technology (smartphones), interpersonal skills seem not to be given a premium and emotional intelligence is taking a hit among the younger ones.
Many of the younger ones are better prepared for the job market from an academic perspective and with the balance of godly values, they are being better prepared for life itself.
May the balance we see in Jesus, even in his preteens, remain our common pursuit across the generations. (Luke 2:52)