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NextGen Leaders Conference Reaffirms and Resources Attendees for Renewed Commitment to Ministry

NextGen leaders from across the country gathered in Orlando, Florida, for a Spirit-filled event offering resources, training, and community building.
Two years ago, the Assemblies of God hosted the first biennial NextGen Leaders Conference (NGLC) in Orlando, Florida. This month, at the conference’s second gathering, nearly 1,500 pastors and ministry leaders convened again to receive resources, training, and community building with those also ministering to the “next generation”.

Jay Mooney, chief ministries and resource officer for the General Council of the Assemblies of God, states, “Scripture paints a clear picture that every generation has a responsibility to disciple the next generation. The AG Next Generation Leaders Conference strategically leans into that high call of God so that every phase in the spiritual development of this generation of children, youth, and young adults is filled with faith, hope, and love to know, be, and do like the Lord Jesus Christ.”

According to Mooney, the conference is uniquely designed to usher those gathered into an experience of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that will invigorate them to lead the next generation in an awakening to fulfill the Great Commission.

While pre-conference master classes on a variety of topics were offered the morning before the first main session, the conference kicked off with a message from John Lindell, author, speaker, and lead pastor of James River Church in Missouri, and his sons Brandon and David, both of whom serve alongside their father as executive ministry pastors.

Other main session speakers throughout the three-day conference included Chad Gilligan, lead pastor of Calvary Church in Toledo, Ohio, Austin Westlake, director of Student Discipleship with the Assemblies of God, and Peter Reeves, a speaker and staff evangelist at Faith Assembly in Orlando, Florida. Jeff Deyo, worship leader, author, speaker, and Grammy-nominated musician led the conference worship.

“The stakes are high,” remarks Brandon Lindell in the conference’s opening session. He states that those in the up-and-coming generation are less “churched” than any living generation.

Mooney points out that this is a huge endeavor that requires the church to stay committed in linking arms with families in order to be truly effective. He adds that “ministry to the next generation, therefore, must be intergenerational ministry that is empowered by the Holy Spirit.”

“The next generation needs older generations to be strategic and intentional towards them because they need to be discipled,” Westlake adds. Discipling cannot happen without “disciplers” who are walking closely to those they wish to disciple.

“Our desire for the next generation is for them to be life-long learners of the ways of Jesus and this requires teachers,” Westlake states.

Yet to accomplish what the next generation desperately needs, to teach and disciple them well, and to reveal the love of Jesus to them in a real and transparent way, national AG leaders understand that those on the front lines need to be refreshed and refilled.

“It is only through the presence of the Almighty God, not through great strategies, not through great programs, that we will effectively reach the next generation,” Mooney remarks during the opening session, which ended with a Spirit-filled time of prayer where nextgen leaders from across the country flooded the altars seeking a fresh supernatural outpouring.

“People want to know that something works,” remarks John Lindell, “and as nextgen leaders, we must be willing to pay the price, to show them that this works. You can’t lead people somewhere you’ve never been.”

The conference concluded with a message from Westlake on surrendering to allow God to fight battles on the believer’s behalf.

“There’s going to be a war,” says Westlake, “and we aren’t imposters because we have moments of fear. That is why God tells us 365 times in the Bible to not be afraid.” But, he challenged the room, we must fast in private before we fight in public and the part we are asked to play is to stay focused in prayer before we take up a fighting posture.

As he closed, General Superintendent Doug Clay followed Westlake’s call and commissioned the assembled leaders to continue to view the next generation as the church of today, not the church of tomorrow.

“If we do that, maybe, just maybe, this generation will be the generation that completes the Great Commission,” he states.

Many leaders commented on the extraordinary amount of resources received at the conference and the connections made during the event, both of which were part of the intended purpose of the conference.

NGLC will be held again in 2026 and leaders are optimistic that testimonies from the 2024 conference will exponentially grow numbers when they meet again.

Ashley B. Grant

Ashley B. Grant has a master's degree in Human Services Marriage and Family Counseling from Liberty University and is a credentialed Christian counselor through the American Association of Christian Counselors. Grant also holds certifications in crisis pregnancy counseling and advanced life coaching. Ashley is a fourth generation Assemblies of God preacher’s kid and has one daughter and three sons.