Have you passed on the baton?

Given that one of our family’s favourite childhood movies was Pixar’s ‘Cars’, I was looking forward to watching the third movie in this series.

Even though it’s targeted at younger kids, the Pixar special sauce produced some terrific entertainment for older kids like me.

As the movie progressed, it was clear that it was a story designed to resonate strongly with older parents and grandparents.

Without spoiling the plot, the underlying message is about passing on the baton from the oldies to the next generation.

Lightning McQueen is no longer able to compete against the rookies, with their new technology and bulletproof confidence.

So, as his midlife crisis unfolds, he is given an insight into the often-hidden pleasure of those who are forced to deal with the realities of losing the ‘competitive edge’.

This is the pleasure of investing in the next generation, and experiencing their ‘wins’ as our own.

McQueen sees this as he discovers the delight that he himself brought to his mentor, Doc Hudson, who vicariously experienced the triumphs of his younger subject.

This is a timely reminder about the importance and pleasure of intergenerational ministry.

Those who are older can delight in mentoring and discipling the younger people in our church.

Furthermore, our elders can be enriched as we identify, recruit, train and encourage the next generation of leaders within our ministries.

Passing on the baton may involve some initial grief, but it will transform to a lifetime of joyful partnership with the next generation of leaders.

And then we will be able to follow the example that the Apostle Paul gave to Timothy:

“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” (2 Timothy 2:2)