In 1993, Pete Myers faced one of the
toughest challenges in sports history. To that point, the 6-foot-6-inch
journeyman had played sparingly for seven NBA teams in seven years. But
prior to joining the Chicago Bulls that year, Myers was asked to do the
impossible: Fill in for Michael Jordan after the greatest basketball
player of all time abruptly decided to retire (for the first time).
I’m thankful I don’t face as daunting a
task as Myers did—not because the person I’m replacing isn’t as
extraordinary, but because of the remarkable inheritance he’s left
behind and the way it’s being transferred. Lee Grady is one of the most
distinct and respected voices in Christian journalism today. After
serving Charisma for 17 years, he’s made my task of following
in his footsteps extremely challenging. Yet one thing I love about Lee
is that he’s never wanted me to trace his trail, but instead to blaze
one for myself. As anyone close to him knows, Lee leads by empowering.
He believes in handing over the necessary tools to let people run their
own course, all while he offers them his unconditional support.
The church desperately needs more Lee
Gradys right now. We need battle-proven generals who are willing to
make way for and empower a new generation of passionate, Spirit-filled
leaders. We need veterans with proven wisdom to help guide those eager
to venture further.
But let me remind my fellow emergents of
this two-sided coin: We may be blazing new trails, but we must not
neglect the wisdom of the pioneers who came before us. Our success will
be directly proportional to how well we listened to the voice of God
speaking through our predecessors. If the church is to truly flourish
in the next season, young and old must understand the need for
intergenerational conversation, not monogenerational monologues.
This month Charisma highlights
the Spirit-prompted generational transfer already in process—and shown
in places such as Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the ongoing Empowered21
conversations will be celebrated April 8-10. We believe these pivotal
multigenerational gatherings offer hope for all ages. Because as in
this magazine’s transfer from one editor to the next, those involved
understand that the state of the generational inheritance usually
matters more than the individual inheritors.
Marcus Yoars is Charisma’s new editor.