Leadership succession may simply refer to one individual replacing another.
But Scripture also tells the story of one generation replacing another. God called Joshua to lead a new generation of His chosen people and told him that He would be with him just as He was with Moses! As the Lord promised,
No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. (Joshua 1:5–6)
A similar time is coming for Your Mission to the Jewish People, as an older generation of missionaries must now prepare a new generation for Jewish missions in the twenty-first century! This is why we are intentionally investing in our next generation of staff preparing to one day lead our 125-year-old outreach to the Jewish people.
We are also directing our evangelistic efforts toward a new generation as we focus more energy, programs, and personnel on reaching Jewish young adults online, on campus, and in person, both in the United States and in Israel.
We call this effort The Joshua Initiative.
We are now beginning to see a movement of the Holy Spirit among young Israelis in the Holy Land. Hundreds of Israeli young people, mostly raised in Messianic Jewish homes, are now ready to stand for the Lord within Israel. They were born and raised in Israel, speak perfect Hebrew, have served in the army, and are dedicated to the Messiah. A half dozen of these young people are now serving with Chosen People Ministries in Israel and are reaching their generation, along with children and youth, for the Lord. They are the new Joshua generation!
Our outreach and discipleship programs for children and teens, ages 8–16, is growing. Many of these kids come from mixed Messiah-believing and non-believing homes. Sleep-away camps allow us to minister to the next generation through worship, devotions, and teaching, and, of course, through all the traditional fun camp activities! Each summer, we have more than a hundred kids in camps on the East and West Coast and more than 500 each year in Israel! Many have come to faith in the Messiah Jesus.
We have also developed special teen mission trips to New York City and Israel so teens can step out of their comfort zone and share the gospel through our outreaches.
For the past decade, we have sponsored and funded a global conference for Messianic believers, ages 18–35. Muchan, which means “ready” in Hebrew, meets in a European city that has a meaningful Jewish heritage. The conference is filled with teaching, fellowship, worship, and encouragement.
We are also pioneering a new gap-year program for college-aged young people. Four young men are now living in Manhattan’s West Village and are tasked with reaching out to the Jewish student body at New York University, which has more Jewish students than the famous Yeshiva University in New York City—a school that trains rabbis and Jewish community workers! Our local staff provide training, mentoring, and guidance for them as they share the gospel with Jewish students. This is an excellent way to disciple new workers for the harvest and to reach university students. We hope to expand this ministry in the days ahead as there are now more than 200,000 Jewish students on campuses in the United States and Canada.
Your Mission to the Jewish People also offers a fully accredited Master of Divinity degree in Messianic Jewish Studies in partnership with Biola University’s Talbot School of Theology. We are training the next generation of men and women called to full-time Jewish ministry. We currently have twenty-five graduates serving in Jewish ministry around the world! We also provide the space and the professors, reducing costs dramatically so that our graduates do not incur debt and are able to go directly into ministry without having to pay off student loans.
The Joshua Initiative will ensure that the work of bringing the gospel to the Jewish people will continue long into the future.