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Generations (ft. Nicole Shah)

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
June 5, 2023 9:00 am

Generations (ft. Nicole Shah)

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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June 5, 2023 9:00 am

In this show, Dr. Shah and his wife Nicole talk about how they've, through God's grace, cultivated a church that encourages intergenerational service.  

If you like this content and want to support the show you can visit us at Don't forget to rate and review our show! To learn more about us, visit us at If you have any questions or would like to contact us, email us at or text us at 252-582-5028. See you tomorrow on Clearview Today!

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30 Days to a New Beginning:


Hello, everyone. Today is Monday, June the 5th. I'm Ryan Hill.

I'm John Galantis. You're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at If you have any questions for Dr. Shah or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028, or you can email us at contact at That's right. You guys can help us keep the conversation going by supporting the show, sharing it online, leaving us a good review on iTunes or Spotify, anywhere you get your podcasting content from.

We're going to leave some links in the description so you can do just that. And today's verse of the day is coming to us from Proverbs 3, 27. Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due when it is in the power of your hand to do so. You know, this kind of reminds me of the verse that we talked about on Friday's episode, where absolute power tends to skew and warp our perspectives and our perception of reality. Right. You read this verse, and you're like, why on earth would you withhold good from someone? But there can be a variety of reasons. I mean, you're trying to prove a point. You're bitter.

Maybe you have things going on in your heart. But it says, when it is in your power to do so, do not withhold good from anybody, because it's a reflection of who God is. When we're in positions of authority, we are a reflection of the gospel and what God has done for us in granting us unmerited favor and grace and mercy. So we need to extend that to other people. Yeah, withholding good is not neutral. It's still evil.

It's still bad. It's still sin to withhold good or to not do good. We tend to think, well, if I don't do anything, if I just do nothing, then I'm neutral.

I can't be blamed for it, or I can't be praised for it. But it's the same as withholding information. It's still a lie.

If you don't tell the truth, even if you keep silent, we still call that a lie of omission. Same with withholding good. There's lots of reasons that we may have to not do good. But those reasons are all at their heart. They're sinful. If it's in your power to do so, that's what Proverbs is telling us.

Absolutely. I've got a question today coming in from Genevieve H. Genevieve? What advice do you wish you followed? Oh, that's a good question.

Good question. What advice do you wish you followed? I can tell you right now, when we went to Israel the first time in 2019, we went to the Dead Sea. And it's this big, big tourist thing where you can lay back and you just float because the water's so salty. But the guy told us, absolutely do not get the water on your face. It's very salty. It will hurt you. And then when we all went in, it was super cold.

And so growing up here in the South, it's like, well, the water's cold. The only thing to do is to dive in. And I just forgot. I didn't do it to be funny.

I just forgot. And I dove head first. And that was, I think, if not the most painful experience of my life, definitely top three. What did it feel like? Oh, it felt like burning. My eyes just burned like fire. It felt like someone had put, like lit my eyeballs on fire and all the moisture was being sucked from my face. My whole face just kind of burned.

And I just could not physically open my eyes. I was like, ah, and I heard David calling me. He was like, are you okay? And I didn't bring a towel down. They had like towels you could buy.

And then some of our people on the trip brought towels. He was like, are you okay? I was like, go, go give me a towel. And he was like, whose? I was like, I don't care. Who's just go get me one.

Like my eyes are closed. I'm like crying. I'm like, just, just get me one. He's like, whose do I take?

Who, what do I say? I was like, go buy one. If you want, he's like, my wallet's on the bus. I don't, what do I do? And I'm like, I'm passing away. I'm like, take a stranger's towel. I don't care. Just bring me something.

I'm hurt. That's the advice I wish I'd taken. Wow.

My, I don't have anything close to that. Like mine's probably like, make sure you do your homework on time or something like that. That story. Trump's mind was some advice that someone gave you that you just didn't take the good advice. Good advice that you just didn't take. Um, okay.

I got it. I think the, the, the piece of advice that I wish I had taken is from when I was a kid. Um, and my mom, my mom and dad had this really high bed. I mean, you had to like climb up into the bed. It was, it was incredibly tall. So as a kid, like seven, eight years old, I mean, it was an, it was an effort to get up into the bed.

Right. Um, but we would love to go get in mom and dad's bed. Cause you know, that's, that's fun. Um, so my sister and I were in the bed and we were, you know, playing around roughhousing.

My mom was like, all right, now, if you keep roughhousing that bed, you're going to fall out of the bed. You need to calm down. You need to calm down.

You don't, you're going to get hurt. Your sister's much younger than you. She's going to get hurt. You need to calm down. And did we listen?

Of course we didn't listen. So we're roughhousing, uh, playing in the bed and I fall backwards out of the bed and I land on my, I go to catch myself and I land on my hand, instant searing pain. I'm like, Oh, Oh, uh, um, but we were going to, and this is going to date me a little bit. We were going to see Prince of Egypt in movie theaters that afternoon.

Like we were going to see it in the movies when it came out and I was so excited about this. I just kind of played it off. Like I was like, Oh, I'm okay. I'm okay.

And, uh, you know, my mom, of course, if your kid tells you they're fine, then they're fine. Well, a week later, my forearm had swollen up. My wrist was so swollen. I didn't have a wrist anymore. I could barely turn my hand.

She was like, um, we're going to take you to the doctor. Lo and behold, I had fractured my arm. I broke that bone in my arm.

The way I fell, I hit it right, just right. Snap that bone right there. Um, so I walked around with a week for a week with a broken arm because I didn't heed my mom's advice and not play on the bed. Guys, don't, don't play on the bed. Don't play. Don't rough house on them.

Right. Especially if you're like in mom and dad's bed and it's real high. I mean, their bed was probably, it was probably that high off the ground. It was, it was huge. My sister had one of those really, really just tall beds where you like got to get a little step ladder out to get into it.

I mean, they had that for sure. And we, I mean, we were just, we thought it was fun. Just like run and jump in the bed.

Um, it was not fun falling out of the bed. I'm eager to see what Dr. Shah's is going to be. We're going to get him, uh, in just a second to finish the rest of the episode. We want to know what his advice is that he did, which is he wishes he had followed. Uh, but if you, if you have a story about advice that you wish you had followed, or if you have questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at two five two five eight two five zero two eight, or visit us online at

We'll be right back. Well, good morning, afternoon, evening, Clear View Today listeners. My name is Jon and I'm David. And we just want to take a quick second and let you know about another way that you can keep in touch with Dr. Shah's work. And that is his weekly podcast series, Sermons by Abaddon Shah, PhD.

As a lot of you may know, or maybe some of you don't know, if you don't know you do now. And if you don't know, then maybe just hop off the podcast. David, hop off the podcast.

I'm just playing, keep listening. Dr. Shah is actually the lead pastor of Clearview Church in North Carolina. Every single weekend, he preaches expository messages that challenge and inspire us to live God honoring lives. One of the four core values of Clearview Church is that we're a Bible believing church. So every sermon is coming directly from scripture, which is great because that guarantees that there are timeless truths that are constantly applicable to our lives. This is a great resource because whether you're driving, whether you're cleaning the house, whether you're working out, you can always benefit from hearing the word of God spoken into your life. And God's word is always going to do something new for you every time you hear it.

Sometimes it's conviction and sometimes it's encouragement. But know that every time you listen to God's word, you're inviting the Holy Spirit to move and work in your life. You guys can check out the Sermons by Abbadon Shah PhD podcast. First and foremost, check it out on our church app. That's the Clearview app. You can get that in the Google Play Store. You can get that on iTunes, but you can also find the podcast on the Apple Podcast app or on our website at And listen, if you've got a little extra time on your hands, you just want to do some further reading, you can also read the transcripts of those sermons. Those are available on Dr. Shah's website, And we're going to leave you guys a little link in the description so you can follow it. But for right now, David, let's hop back in. All right. Dr. Abbadon Shah is a PhD in New Testament textual criticism, professor at Carolina University, author, full-time pastor, and the host of today's show.

You can find all of his work on his website. That's That's right. And Dr. Shah, we have a very special guest with us today.

Yes, we do. Maybe the most special. Who is our special guest? I've had better guests, I think.

Well, I don't know. She's up there. That's my wife. Nicole! Hi, Nicole. Welcome to the episode today.

Second time on the show, third time. You know, as we're thinking about generations, it's something we've talked about on the show before. The importance of interacting with other generations and not just, you know, dipping into a different generation than yours, but really building this idea of an intergenerational church.

What does that look like? Why is that important? And what does the future of churches look like in America if we don't do this?

Right. I mean, again, we emphasize the importance of the distinction between multigenerational and intergenerational. Multigenerational, where we have a lot of different generations on the campus. Intergenerational is where they interact with each other, where they serve and do things together. A prime example of that at our church is like the AV ministry. We do have many generations working together.

We have, you know, like a gentleman who's in our audiovisual ministry. He's in his 60s, would you say? Oh yeah.

60s, maybe early 70s, late 60s, early 70s. Right. Just don't tell him that. No, I wouldn't tell him that. But no, you're right, because he came up to Ellie and was like, I want to do, I want to run AV.

I want to help. And we were like, really? The buttons and the lights don't intimidate you? He's like, not at all.

Not at all. He even said, he's like, I've been in Afghanistan for like 10 something years. I don't know what any of this stuff is, but I'm ready to learn. Amen. That's awesome.

And we have both ends of the spectrum because my kids are serving in AVs, my 10 year olds are serving on the AV team as well. And it's fun, like you said, Dr. Shah, to sit there and watch on a Sunday morning, watch this 60 year old interact with these 10 year olds. And they're running stuff and they're like, hey, are you over there? You want me to get this?

Yeah, I'll get this. I'm like, wow. Look at them working together. The synergy here is like, off the charts. And that's, you know, that's not an accident.

That's by design. That's very intentional in the culture that, Dr. Shah, you've created here and you, Nicole, as well, over the years is building this idea that, you know, we're not relegated to different generational zones. Like this is, you're this age, so you need to stay over here. You're this age, okay, well you can serve here, but nowhere else. There's this idea of serving across generational lines. And that's something that's very intentional.

Yeah. It comes from a belief, a conviction coming from the word of God. You know, the coming of Christ, we believe is imminent, which means he can come any moment. There's nothing, not a single prophecy that we're waiting on to fulfill before Jesus said, okay, it's time for me to go down. There's nothing like that ever since he, since he ascended into the heavens, right. He's kind of waiting to come back.

The last days have begun. I mean, we are any moment, any things can happen and he can come. But if he doesn't, let's say there is, there are 50 more years. Let's say there are 500 more years. Let's say there's a thousand years still left for him to come.

We don't know. And if that's the case, then we should do everything possible to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the younger generation and pass on our faith to them and also help them have their own faith. That's right. You know, we want them to keep going and a lot of people don't care. I mean, I know one of you all, I won't mention names, told me one time that you remember hearing some people in your own church say, you know, Hey, I'm going to do it this way.

And once I'm dead, I don't care. Yep. So horrible. Yeah. Did you ever hear people talk like that? I personally had never heard anybody talk like that. That's good. But I mean, being a pastor's kid for 21 years and then being a pastor's wife, I've heard tell of it, but nobody has personally said that to me. Did you see, did you see a lot of intergenerational cooperation in your dad's church when you were growing up? To be honest with you, not really. Really?

Not really. We did have a strong youth group, but I was in that youth group. I was in the beginning stages of that youth group. And I remember feeling like, Oh, this is where I belong.

This is the only place that I belong. So you see like a distinct difference in that and like what we do here at Clearview. Yes. Because I mean, we, we even had, even back then we had a youth choir where we would sing, you know, our praise music and stuff on Sunday nights for the, for the congregation, but it was only the youth choir. It was just, and then you had the adult choir that was separate.

So yeah, back then, yes, we were definitely separate. Yeah. But I guess it's something you kind of learn as the years go by, you see the cooperation between the older generations and the younger generations. Right.

Right. The one place that I feel here at Clearview in a way that I've, you know, that I've seen the intergenerational cooperation is even in our Kindle ministry because families have decided, Hey, this is something that we're going to do as a family. We're going to do it together. We're going to, this is going to be our ministry. And so it's, it can, it's adults and kids and teenagers, and they're serving, they're serving together, whether it's families or not. And, you know, with even individuals, but this is a place I feel like the families can say, Hey, this is going to be ours.

And every time there's a Kindle event, when we can do it, we're going to do this as a family. That's right. You know, what really opened my eyes is going to Turkey. You know, I know it's kind of fresh on our minds, but going through those churches with Nicole, I mean, she, she remembers that as well, walking through the church in Myra, walking through the church in Laodicea, to the church in several other places, like Pisidian Antioch, Antioch of Pisidia, and, and just seeing those church buildings and realizing that at one time people were sitting here coming in, worshiping, lost people were coming in and being baptized because those churches had baptistry.

Right. We saw them. I stood in some, like we went to Ephesus and we went up to the top to the church there, St. John's, you know, and, you know, according to tradition, he's buried there.

So we stood by his graveside, took some pictures and I said some words there, but then we went over to where the baptistry was that we stood there. They were joking with pushing me in the back. Cause I was like, cause it had some stagnant water in there because of rain. So you couldn't go all the way to the bottom. I was like, Oh, I wanted to walk all the way down in there.

I can't because it's nasty, yucky water. But, but it was not all the way to the top. So they were like two steps. So I walked down two steps into the baptistry and people were pretending to push me in there. But anyways, I think that people were baptized there. Families were baptized and then they attended church and they were, you know, now you go there and it's nothing left, just ruins. I was combing through the footage earlier, putting some videos together.

And I think you said that at one point you were talking about the ruins and you were giving the dates, but then I love that you always bring that human element into it. And you were like, imagine there were little children running through here. They were laughing and they were playing. I think we went to somewhere in Israel where it was one of the synagogues. I don't know if it was Capernaum or where, but you could see the games. Like you could see like the little, the outlines. Capernaum at the synagogue.

At the synagogue. If you go there, you can see still after all these centuries, they like etched games and stuff into the rock and you sit there and you can see it. And they were like, they had little scoreboards and it's like little children played here and lived here. And then you look at it now and it's like, it makes you sad.

Yeah. All the rocks and a lot of rocks. I mean, the stones for the building are just like gone. Of course, there isn't a roof. You can see that, but also no walls left, nothing. And you can see the place where the pulpit used to be. And it's empty. Just to know that at one time there was someone standing there, turn your Bibles to whatever, you know, maybe lectionary. It doesn't matter. But they were reading and preaching God's word.

They were singing there. I don't know. But now, nothing. And I think we have this delusion that it's either not going to happen to my church or if it does happen to my church, I'll be dead and gone anyway. I wouldn't want to have that on my conscience just to have said that because who doesn't want something to go past their lifetime to say that this is my legacy. I mean, I feel like part of my legacy is my kids, but a huge part of our legacy together is Clearview and how we're going to leave it when we leave this world.

I personally want to leave it so much better than when we came. That will be part of my legacy. And it was not just for lack of theology. I mean, think about the letter to the Colossians.

You know, we talked about this the other day. It's so rich. It is so deep.

It is so full of Christology. Well, I mean, what do we find when you go into Colossae? You can't even find the ruins. The ruins are under the hill right now. They're sitting there, way deep buried. So somewhere there one day, maybe a hundred years from now, because there's so many sites they have to excavate. And there's such a long list and so many hurdles to climb. So it may be a hundred years from now before Colossae is excavated.

So a hundred years from now, some archeologists will finally with his little spade and his brush will come across. Oh, I think we hit up on a church. That's the same as with Derby and Lystra as well, because we climbed up onto like the, it was not a high mountain. It was just like a hill, but we know that the city... We could never get close to Derby because it was really wet and muddy there.

So we stopped the bus. But Lystra, we did get on top because that's Timothy's hometown. There's nothing there. I mean, we know that the city is buried under there and they just not, they don't have the maybe the time, the resources, the money. We don't really know. But compared to the other places we went where you could see ruins, there's nothing. Wow.

Nothing. But you made an excellent point though. They had that theology. They had the word of God written specifically to them. And so we think, and we say in our arrogance and our passivity, I guess, as long as I got the word of God, I'll be fine. Our church is going to stand. We're strong biblical.

Do you know that most of the church councils, the early ones about the Trinity or Christology or pneumatology, the Holy Spirit were held in Asia Minor? And today you can't find those places. We like to ignore the fact that in order for a church to stand, we do need the word of God, but we also need strong leadership and we need vision and we need these different generations working together to preserve it. If we don't strive for this intergenerational model or if churches are not actively working toward this, what does the future look like for the church in America?

Very bleak. You know, now don't say for a moment, I would never say for a moment, let me put it this way, that the church will die because we know the church will always remain. It just may not remain in your part of the world. So God will raise up church somewhere else. Maybe Asia, maybe Africa, maybe Europe. I don't know where Europe is right now.

They kind of lost their heads. Maybe South America. I don't know where it will make its rise, but the church will rise and has risen. But where we are, because of just the laxity of people, the lack of reaching the next generation, it sort of has become like, oh, well, this is how life is and this is what it is. Well, you're shutting down and a lot of churches are shut down. Yeah. Yeah. There's a message that you preached a while back that kind of had that sobering reality of just several statistics of, you know, where the church was and churches that were shutting down and how people were walking away from the faith and how the numbers were trending. And it just, I remember just feeling just like this chill. I mean, there's just that grip to my core.

Like, what are we doing? What, I mean, we at Cleveland are very blessed, very fortunate to have you as our pastor, as our leader and a culture that prioritizes this intergenerational model of church. But not everyone is as fortunate. Not everyone has that.

And not everyone even sees the importance of that. Right. It begins with a conviction. And it's more than just preach the word.

I mean, of course, preach the word. That's where we begin. We just kind of, you know, hang in together. Okay. That's great that you're hanging in together, but we have to reach the loss. Right.

We have to create a culture that passes on the truth to the next generation, that we find creative, innovative ways to reach people. Like for example, last Sunday night, we had the Bluegrass Night. The room was packed out. It's an old timey music, right? But we threw a lure out there and people came. I heard from a lot of folks like Jimmy and Kay and others who said, man, so-and-so came, so-and-so came. They don't go to church, but they're here because they love the music.

And I'm like, wow, that's great. He said, hey, who knows? They may come back.

Who knows? God is working in their hearts. And I believe some people may have gotten saved because the gospel was preached. The word of God never returns void. So if that has happened, then some people got saved just by singing old gospel music. This week, right, Monday through Friday, a different context, a group of African American pastors invited me to be part of their circle to preach the gospel, to have a revival meeting.

It's in Granville County in Oxford. And it's been amazing. People are coming in and the message is quite awesome. The message is the church will remain with or without you.

You better get in. You better get right with the Lord. Stop living in fear. Start trusting Jesus.

Be afraid of God more than you're afraid of a disease. I mean, stuff like this is being said. So I know God is working. So I'm not going to say for a moment it's all doom and gloom because good things are happening.

Right. The doom and gloom or the warning isn't for the church as a whole. The warning is for you or for us because it's a privilege to be part of the church. It's a privilege to be part of God's plan.

And if we kind of like, I'm thinking about Esau, like, if you don't want it, if you don't care for it, he's going to give it to someone who does it. And it's like you said, the person who takes it is not to be blamed because I didn't want it. It meant nothing to me. The church didn't mean anything to us. And so, Hey, God is going to do what he's got to do. That's it. So, I mean, we want our children, Nicole and I have tried to raise our four with the mindset that they can have their own faith.

Yes, definitely. That is one of those things that we've realized that I've seen my kids, they get older, they begin to grapple with that and that's okay. You know, that's okay because we don't want them living on our faith forever because we set that example, but then as your kids get older, they have to find their own faith because otherwise, how do we know if they're truly saved? Until they really say, okay, this is what I believe.

Yes, I see where my parents led me to, but now this is where my faith begins as an adult or as a young adult, an older teenager. We definitely want that. And I feel like too at Clearview with us that we have helped that intergenerational issue with the church is, like you said, with the AV team or with Kindle or with any of the other things that we do, we have so many different age groups, but we've also created this culture that, you know, okay, this is what you want to do, this is what you want to volunteer for, and this is your church. Right. This is not just your mom and dad's church or your grandparents' church, this is your church and this is your job or this is your volunteer position, and if you're not here to fill that position, then we're missing a piece. That's right, absolutely.

Absolutely. What I've seen so many times in so many different places is, you know, people, they have this youth group experience where they feel like, this is where I belong, this is my place, this is where I fit in, and that's great, you should have that. But what happens when that person graduates out of that youth group or that youth ministry? Then they're not a part of that group anymore, they don't have a group they belong to, they don't have a team that they're a part of, they don't have any way that they're serving, there's no glue to hold them to the church. So they hopefully will find a place to plug in, but if we don't help them do that, I mean, they're just going to fade away until maybe they decide later in life, you know what, this actually was really important. Why not give them another place to belong, like the AV team or like serving in nursery or like serving in children's ministry or with outreach or something like that. That way, once they graduate out of that student ministry, yes, that chapter is closed, but I'm still part of this team, I'm still part of this ministry, and people are still depending on me.

This is still my church. And you're saying that, and look at your kids, right? Both of them, I'm talking about the older twins, how old are they? Ten, they'll be 11 this summer. They are folks, those who are watching by YouTube or listening through podcasts or radio show, both of their kids, the boy and girl, are in our AV team, managing cameras, managing lights, and part of the service.

And not just like little handheld little cameras, expensive cameras that most people, most like adults are too scared to even go near. Right. Yeah. And they're doing it. Ten-year-olds are running the service. And the service looks great.

Yeah. Well, and that's, I mean, that's thank you to you, Dr. Shah, for creating the opportunity for them and John, for you as well, for having a place for them to serve. That's something they look forward to. They ask me about when they're scheduled, when they need to be there for rehearsals, and they're in their place. They take it very seriously. Ellie, who runs our AV ministry, I mean, she says they're her best workers.

No complaints, nothing. They come and they do the job and they do it really well. People have often come up to me in the last few years, you know, knowing where we had come from as a church and ask, you know, how, how did you do that? And I said, I said, there was one mantra that was, that was preached from the pulpit for years. Do you see your children sitting next to you in the pews?

Do you want to see your children and your grandchildren sitting next to you in the pews? If you do, you're going to have to change. And it wasn't just one sermon and they changed. It was years. It was years of being told, if you want to see this happen, you have to change. That's right. And the people did.

That's right. But it wasn't an overnight. It wasn't easy at all.

It was not easy at all. And it's, but, but it's, it's a Testament because I'm looking at this room with all this cool gear and this cool lighting and this AC, these cameras and these microphones and the technology. And we get to, I get to experience this because they were faithful enough to change and you were faithful enough to lead them to change. That's right. That's right. That's right.

And ultimately the dust settles. It's God doing the whole thing. That's right. That's right. It's Him. So we don't even take that credit because we could have done everything right. And still it doesn't have to work. It's God.

That's right. So we give Him all the glory. Because God, God is the only person that can change a person's heart. Amen. So important for us. If you have questions about what it would look like to develop an intergenerational model in your church, you want to learn more, send us a text to 252-582-5028. You can visit us online at and you can partner with us financially on that same website. Every gift that you give goes not only to building up this radio show, but countless other ministries for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Nicole, thank you so much for joining us on the episode today. Always a pleasure to have you in the studio. Thank y'all for having me. I had fun. It was fun. Absolutely. We love you guys. We'll see you next time on Clear View Today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-05 10:20:21 / 2023-06-05 10:33:52 / 14

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