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… Jesus went to Galilee, preaching the good news of [the kingdom of] God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent [change your inner self-your old way of thinking, live your life in a way that proves repentance; seek God’s purpose for your life] and believe in the good news.”

Mark 1:14-15 AMP

Jesus’s dream was the coming of God’s Kingdom. This is a Kingdom where Christ and his example of love rules in our hearts. Believing in the good news of Jesus’s love is what changes both people’s lives and the world.

As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.

Mark 1:16-18 NIV

Jesus understood that to build God’s Kingdom it was imperative he find the next generation of leaders and  in a way that would last, he  raising them upwould need to invest in a group of leaders who could carry his message on after he left this world. This new generation of leaders would make sure that Jesus’s love and purpose were made known to and fulfilled in future generations.

Raising up the next generation of leaders is vital to the long-term success of any organization., and God’s church is no different. That’s why we are passionate about giving Special Contribution; the funds we raise support internship and scholarship programs year after year in which new generations get the spiritual training they need to change the world around them.  David Gergen, who worked in the White House for four presidents (Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton), in an article in US News says:

“I moved to Cambridge, Mass, basically because I wanted to start working with the younger generations. Because I think increasingly our capacity as a nation, and our success as a nation, is going to depend upon the quality of leadership in the next generations to come.”

David Gergen, as quoted in “America’s Greatest Hope: Young Leaders,” US News and World Report.

The wisdom is also true and even more needed when it comes to building God’s church. God’s church needs young leaders that can take over or contribute significantly in the next two to five years. 

We are very excited about our fellowship and the efforts we are making to raise up the next generation of leaders. Our church has managed to attract and inspire 17-20 new leaders to use their talents to build God’s dream. This year, we had 23 young men and women in our summer internship program. They devoted themselves this summer to serving in the teen and campus ministries, helping other young people build a relationship with God, serving in their local communities, and engaging in discipleship groups to strengthen their convictions. Their impact has been extraordinary, especially considering that a lot of people in the Gen Z and millennial generations have decided not to go to church, let alone lead one.  

We are grateful for a fellowship that has been willing to invest financially to see a new generation of leaders raised up. Our investment in the next generation is already making an impact this year as we have seen 20 plus teen and Campus students get baptized and make decisions to be part of God’s dream and Kingdom. We are excited by all God is and will do through the next generation of leaders.  

Each of our summer scholars and interns went to work, and here are just a few examples of the incredible impact they had:

  • In SF, Faith Molinari, Kayla Kim, and Maro Silaen rallied around Catherine Dagaman to help her develop a relationship with God and get baptized. 
  • In CCN, Loren Olsen helped one of her best friends and classmates at St. Mary’s, Kuturah, get baptized this year, along with helping another campus student Yadhira Dominguez get baptized just last month. 
  • In SV, Vondell Pilcher started E-Football, an inclusive program that partners up typical kids with kids who have special needs to teach athletic and social skills. Vondell connected with Mattew Cindric, a current player for the Cal Bears football team, to support the first Golden Buddies Football Clinic. This clinic was a collaboration between the UC Berkeley Cameron Institute and Special Olympics of Northern California; they hosted an inclusive event at Cal’s football stadium for 80 kids from the community. E-football coaches and volunteers joined the event to consult  The next generation is limited to younger leaders.  We all have a purpose and impact to make in our generation.  and ensure that it was a great experience for the kids and families.

“’In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.’”

Acts 2:17-18 NIV

The scripture helps us know that God’s next generation of leaders is meant to be men and women of all ages, not just the young. There is a contribution each of us is intended to make to building God’s dream for future generations to be a part of.  This belief provides tremendous hope for what our future holds.  We can all help build God’s dream.

For more information about this year’s Special Contribution and the programs we will be supporting through it, head over to 

We look forward to the days ahead and especially next week’s Special Contribution as we have a great opportunity to invest in the future together!  

‘Til next time,

Sam and Tenea Manuel

East Bay Lead Minister and Women’s Ministry Leader

Sam Manuel

Sam is a former outside linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers. Since retiring from the NFL, Sam has worked in the ministry serving communities in the Bay Area.

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