There are hundreds of young people today who are sitting in pews, pursuing their theological education or serving in entry level ministry positions. And in the years to come, these young leaders will feel compelled to plant churches, lead non-profits or live on mission in the marketplace. They’ll feel a pull inside their spirit they cannot ignore and over time begin to take steps of faith to lead at higher levels. Whether or not they’ll succeed remains to be seen but one thing I can tell you for sure: Their chance of effectiveness will be greatly increased if today’s leaders start investing in them today.What can you do today to champion these young leaders today?
- Speak life into their giftedness. I’m constantly amazed at how few people have had their leader speak significant or specific encouragement into their souls. Our words of confidence in them will expand their confidence in their own potential and help them dream bigger dreams.
- Give them significant opportunities to lead in the context of your local church. Give them stretch assignments. Give them specific roles that will equip them for a great future of leadership. Give them assignments you wish someone would have given you when you were their age.
- Provide constructive feedback that will expand their leadership capacity. Don’t practice false kindness and avoid the essential feedback that will help them maximize their potential. Point our the critical areas they need to grow while at the same time demonstrating your confidence in them.
- Expose them to great books, great leaders and great environments that will expand their thinking. When young leaders are kept in one environment they fail to develop a depth and dimension they will need to lead when they face new or different contexts.
- Challenge them to live with integrity and dream with audacity. What if we could challenge the next generation leaders to see further than we saw, believe bigger than we believed or trusted God for a movement of revival the likes the world has never seen?
Why wouldn’t we champion, challenge and resource next-generation leaders this way? There are only three answers to this question: Busyness, laziness or selfishness. In other words, there is no good reason not to champion next-generation leaders. What young leader can you start pouring into this week?