Being a tech nerd I love to see the new technology that is coming down the road. New phones, new app, software updates…all of that stuff grabs my attention. Something just feels better when it is “next gen”.
This past week we had our annual Celebrate Recovery Summit. This year the ministry was celebrating it’s 30th year. It was also the 27th Summit. There was hoopla and special speakers. It was quite a big deal for us in the CR community. It was our first year back with an in person Summit after the trauma of COVID and 2020. Hope and joy was everywhere.
But there was also a cloud over many of our hearts. In late February we had lost our founder, John Baker. While on a walk with his wife he had collapsed and died in her arms. We had never done a CR Summit without Pastor John. No one really knew what to do or how to do it. Over the past several years he had struggled with some major health issues which had caused him to pull back from his day to day duties, but this was different. This Summit was definitely going to be “next gen” without Pastor John. At the foundation of CR philosophy is the idea that each leader should be preparing someone to step into their role. We are always looking to have someone who can carry on if we cannot be there. Thankfully Pastor John practiced what he preached, and had his son well groomed for the job. Johnny stepped up to stand in his father’s stead. Talk about next gen!
It’s not that Johnny replaced his father. Rather, John had created a situation where he could be multiplied. Replacement leaves things as they were, but multiplication creates growth. Summit was not the same without Pastor John. We all missed his charm. We all missed his grace and love. We all missed his corny puns (especially me!) But to use his own words, “This was the best Summit we’ve ever had.” By going “next gen” we all were able to…