Victory Church
Don’t Drop the Baton
Archived – July 30, 2023

Don’t Drop the Baton

July 30, 2023

Don’t Drop the Baton!


Cameron Peedin

Main scripture point:

Judges 2:10 (NLT)

After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel.

Main Point:

If our current generation is not more intentional about passing on the legacy of Jesus to the next generation (Gen Z and Gen Alpha), the church as we know it in America will die out.


History of Victory Church Timeline:

Established on September 1, 1884 as Auburn Christian Church

Oct. 2, 1994 Pastor Mitch became the pastor of ACC (didn’t have a pastor at the time).

In August, 1995 Auburn Christian Church (ACC) changed to Victory Fellowship Church to have a more relevant name at that time

Victory Fellowship Church gave the Garner Road church building back to the Auburn community with 10 people to keep it running.

August 15, 1996- first service in shopping center

October 27, 2002- 1st service at Aversboro

In 2009 Victory Fellowship Church updated its name to Victory Church Inc in efforts to be more relevant.

Sept. 1st 2013- Victory Church moved to the current location

July 9th 2023-Grand opening of Victory Academy (for the next generation!)

Victory Church has come a long way since 1884 (139 years)

Why are some churches thriving and others dying? In 2020-202, thousands of churches closed their doors. Part of the reason is they failed to “pass the baton.” Churches who fail to pass the baton will eventually die.

Churches that learn how to pass the baton effectively, efficiently and proficiently will thrive, grow, and their impact will spread locally and globally, and most of all, generationally.

As we approach 2024, where do you want to be as a church? Why am I specifically referring to “you”? Because you are an intricate part of this church, if you call yourself a believer of Jesus Christ, and if you feel God has placed you here.

Two things can happen at Victory Church in the future:

  • Die out.
  • Thrive and multiply!

A Generation without God

Judges 2:10 (NLT)

After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel.

An entire generation grew up not knowing God. How did this happen?

We don’t know for sure, but we can speculate.

It could be that parents/grandparents failed to pass on the stories of how God delivered them from their enemies and how they entered the Promised Land by miraculous firsthand encounters with Jehovah their God.

They saw God’s miraculous wonders firsthand! They physically saw God deliver their people from the hands of the Egyptians in so many miraculous ways. What was their excuse?

For 40 years in the wilderness, God proved Himself to be trustworthy and personally guided them into the promised land.

Exodus 10:1-2 (NLT)

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Return to Pharaoh and make your demands again. I have made him and his officials stubborn so I can display my miraculous signs among them. 2 I’ve also done it so you can tell your children and grandchildren about how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and about the signs I displayed among them—and so you will know that I am the Lord.”

God displayed His power for His people to see His mighty power,, and He specifically instructed them to share the stories to their children and grandchildren. Why? So that generations to come would not turn away from God.

What went wrong in this handoff to the next generation? Could it have been complacency? Maybe once they were nice and comfy in the Promised Land, they forgot God, or simply became comfortable where they were. Maybe once they got what they wanted, they didn’t “need” God anymore and became stagnant in their relationship with Him?

We always remember God in times of crisis, but forget Him when things are going well.

Just like how Israel was judged by God for not passing on the stories and legacy of God to the next generation, could our nation be in danger of judgment for not doing the same?

2024 Summer Olympics

How many of you know what’s coming up in July of next year, besides the elections? Summer Olympics in July 2024 located in Paris.

Track and Field is usually my favorite sport to watch during the Olympics.

4×100-most intense of all the races.

Intel’s 4 of the fastest runners on the planet to run around the track as fast as they can. Each time a runner comes around they have to pass the baton onto the next runner in a section of the track they call the “exchange zone” (20 meters).

Once the baton is passed, the next runner goes around and passes it to the next runner and so on. The US has historically dominated this sport, especially the women’s division.


In 2000, Sydney, Australia, the US had to settle for a Bronze medal. In one of the exchanges there was a slight bobble that cost the US. That bobble allowed two other countries to take the lead. Jamaica won over the US and got silver by 7 100ths of a second. And the Bahamas won gold.

In 2004 in Greece, The US was expected to win. In one of the exchanges, Marian Jones was trying to pass it to Lauren Williams. In that exchange somehow she couldn’t get it into Lauren Williams’ hand and they ran out of the exchange zone and were disqualified from the race. This was the 1st time in about 30 years the US wasn’t even on the medal stand.

In 2008 Beijing, China. In the semifinals the US was in the lead. On the final handoff the baton was dropped. Not only did the US not get onto the medal stand, we didn’t even make it to the finals. Why? Because they dropped the baton.

Just because the US was the most trained, most decorated country in the world and expected to win, didn’t mean that they were going to walk away with a medal.

What lesson was learned in 2000, 2004 and 2008? How important it was to successfully pass the baton from one runner to the next runner in order to win the race.

This is a lesson we need to learn when examining the Judges 2:10 generation. If we are not intentional about passing the baton of Jesus onto the next generation, we and our children could see a generation without God.

I wonder how many times the coaches and runners examined the videos trying to analyze why they dropped the baton. We don’t have a slow motion camera examining the Judges 2:10 generation to see what went wrong. We can speculate, but we don’t know exactly what went wrong in that exchange of generations.

God warned the Israelites ahead of time, before they moved into the Promised Land, that they must do something specific:

‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭4‬:‭9‬-‭10‬ ‭(NLT)‬‬

But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren. Never forget the day when you stood before the Lord your God at Mount Sinai, where he told me, “Summon the people before me, and I will personally instruct them. Then they will learn to fear me as long as they live, and they will teach their children to fear me also.”

Deuteronomy 6:1-12 (NLT)

These are the commands, decrees, and regulations that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you. You must obey them in the land you are about to enter and occupy, 2 and you and your children and grandchildren must fear the Lord your God as long as you live. If you obey all his decrees and commands, you will enjoy a long life.3 Listen closely, Israel, and be careful to obey. Then all will go well with you, and you will have many children in the land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you. 4 “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. 10 ‘The Lord your God will soon bring you into the land he swore to give you when he made a vow to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is a land with large, prosperous cities that you did not build. 11 The houses will be richly stocked with goods you did not produce. You will draw water from cisterns you did not dig, and you will eat from vineyards and olive trees you did not plant. When you have eaten your fill in this land,12 be careful NOT TO FORGET the Lord, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt.

3 Things God wanted in this exchange

  1. God wanted to be intimately woven into the fabric and culture of their daily lives.
  2. God wanted His laws and all His ways to constantly be in front of them so they would not forget His ways.
  3. When they entered into the Promised Land, He did not want the Israelites to FORGET Him.

How are we as a church doing in this area? In our homes? Our daily lives? Our culture? Is God the centerpiece of our culture?

Is the focus in our home centered around God? Is the topic of God and His Word discussed regularly in our home? Is worship a regular thing we do in our home? Is prayer a regular thing we do in our home?

Is passing on my love for music to Avalyn a higher priority than passing on my love for Jesus?

Is passing on your love for your favorite hobby or college or pro football team a higher priority than passing Jesus onto your children or grandchildren?

Are the things you and your family living for going to last for eternity?

What’s that “Something Else”?

In the Judges 2:10 generation, it’s very obvious that something else took a higher priority than passing on their love for God to the next generation.

Could it have been the distractions of the world at that time crowding out the memories of their encounters with God?

Could it have been the daily grind of just trying to survive and not making room for God in their daily life?

Or was the older generation of Israelites afraid that if they imparted their lifestyle of serving God to the younger generation, the next generation would mess it all up? AKA: perfectionism, and could be a little bit of spiritual pride.

Or maybe their experiences with God were only their experiences and not the next generations. And they held tightly to their traditions.

Young people are the future of this church and the future of Christianity! It is paramount that we invest the culture of who Jesus is into their lives!

Alarming stats: Only 28% of Gen Z Amercians say that they are committed to attending church once a month. 14% identify as atheist or agnostic, according to a recent poll that also suggests the younger generation is much more likely to identify as LGBT.

What is Gen Z looking for in a church? Community, security, compassion and authenticity.

My hope is that Victory Church thrives until Jesus returns, but if we don’t “pass the baton” onto the next generation, even Victory Church could die out.

How can we avoid this crisis?

  1. Include young people in your life.
  2. Start talking to the younger generation in our church.
  3. If attending church online is your only way of being a part of a church, come and physically be a part of a local church.
  4. Parents, let God be the centerpiece of your home and raise your children to love God and to put Him first in their daily lives.
  5. Make attending church a regular routine in your week, not just once a month. What you practice now, your children will replicate.

In Josh McDowell’s book The Last Christian Generation, he says “…the majority of our young people lack a relationship with spiritual mentors who are models of Christlikeness, and these youth are building their faith and lives on a false foundation – a distorted view of who Christ is, why he came to earth, and what the Bible and truth really are. We need to help our young people rebuild their faith and relationships with spiritual mentors from the ground up based on the true foundation of Christ.”

Atheism/Agnosticism in America

Leah Barkoukis said in her article Atheism on the Rise in America:

“While we are still living in a predominantly Christian nation, according to a new Pew Research Center study, an increasing number of Americans now fall into the category of ‘nones’—people who describe themselves as agnostic, atheist, or do not identify with a particular faith.”

“From 2007 to 2014, the two years Pew conducted this large-scale study of American religious life. The number of ‘nones’ jumped from 16 percent to nearly 23 percent. 70% of Americans identified as Christians back 2014, but this number has declined. In 2020 the number of people considering themselves as Christians is now down to 64% from 70%. Currently the ‘nones’ has climbed from 23% to 30% just one decade ago.”

Do you know who the majority of these “nones” are? Young adults 20-30

Could we be heading toward a Judges 2:10 generation?

God has selected you to be a runner in His race, whether you recognize it or not, no matter how young or how old you are.

Anyone who has given their lives to Jesus and is a follower of Him has been selected by Him to run the race and pass the baton to the next generation.

The question is …. will you accept it, will you run with it, and will you pass it on, or will you let it fall? The choice is yours.

I Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)

Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadow boxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.

You are sitting in Victory Church today or watching online because of runners in the past passing their baton on to this generation. I hope that in 100 years, 200 years, that Victory Church will be thriving for many generations to come.

As you see, no matter who you are or how old you are, you can still pass the baton.

So how can you start passing the baton today?

  1. True repentance from not honoring God in our lives (public and private) and our homes.
  2. Serve in Victory Kids (0-5th grade).
  3. Serve in Victory Youth (6-12th grade).
  4. Incorporate young people in your life somehow on a regular basis. There is a desperate need for the seasoned generation to mentor and teach the younger generation.
  5. Parents, build a culture of serving and loving Jesus in your home. Let your children know that God is the center of your life, home, and church. Let them see you reading your Bible and having alone time with Him. Let them hear you pray over them every day.


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