baton passEvery four years we have the opportunity to watch our Olympians participate in the World Olympic Games. I especially enjoy the summer Olympics. The speed, agility, grace, skill, endurance and physical strength of the athletes is amazing. Based upon the Olympic Trials, Team USA will be a significant challenge to the world in almost every sport.

The relay races are particularly fascinating. The speed of each runner is important, but most important is the hand-off. Passing the baton is an art and requires intentionality, focus, and perfect timing. Special attention is required to make the proper pass. If a runner fails to deliver the baton in the proper manner or if the runner receiving the baton drops it then the race is, for all practical purposes, over for that team.

In my August Monthly Faith-Partner Letter, I discussed the importance of mentorship. ( The concept of passing on our Christian values and biblical truth is even more important today than ever before. We are carrying the baton of our faith, our godly wisdom, and our testimonies that can help shape another person’s life.

The Bible tells us about our need to pass along the baton to other generations. In Deuteronomy 4:9 Moses told the Israelites: “Do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” In Psalm 78 Asaph states: “I will utter…things from of old-things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us…We will tell the next generations the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done” (vv.2-4).

Spiritual Mentoring or discipleship is more than attending church on Sunday, writing a check to a missionary, or reading God’s Word. Discipleship is much more than communicating information about specific topics. All these things are important, but authentic discipleship is about developing a caring concern and a genuine love for others through modeling Christ-like attitudes and behavior in the context of relational environments. It is passing the baton on to others.

With intentionality and care we share God’s Word and love with those who have an open heart. We pray that they will receive our communications so their spiritual journey can be accelerated. As believers and spiritual mentors we desire them to finish the race in life knowing the rewards and honor that comes from our Heavenly Father.

For the sake of the younger generation don’t be silent. We are called and equipped by God to make disciples (Matt. 28) and to pass along the baton of His love, grace, forgiveness and mercy. It is those who are in the arena of His Kingdom who sing “the praises of Him who called (us) out of darkness into His wonderful light” 1 Peter 2:9.

The race is about the baton (the Message), not the runners. The objective is to keep the baton (God’s Word) moving at maximum speed at all times throughout the race.

Personal Application:
1. If you take the time to pray each day for a searching soul to be directed in your path, God will provide that person so you can share the saving grace of our loving Father.
2. Are you willing to run the race and pass the baton of your Christian heritage along? If so, are you being intentional? If not, why not?
3. What does Psalm 78:1-8 tell you about your responsibility to the next generation?

Jim Grassi, D. Min.