Last week I wrote on how to lead older people as a younger person (Check it out here!). This week’s article goes along with it.
I want to talk to older leaders about how to empower young leaders.
Many times I have seen good and bad examples of more experienced leaders trying to lead a less experienced leader.
Here is one story: I went to preach at a church and I preached my sermon and then the elders met with me. One of the elders launched into a point by point critique of my sermon, maintaining that my 7 references to prayer in Scripture were not enough and such shallow preaching is not tolerated in their church.
See this is an example of a man who had the best intentions when trying to help a young leader. Unfortunately, he went about it all the wrong way. If there was something fundamentally wrong with my sermon he could have approached me better, instead the way he handled it shattered my confidence and made me defensive and ultimately less teachable and less likely to trust him to actually lead me.
On the flip-side though I have had many other leaders empower, disciple, and influence me in ways that will have lasting influence.
Here are 4 timeless principles to positively impact a young leader:
General encouragement of a young leader can go a long way. Many times inexperience can cause overconfidence-I have definitely seen this. But, most of the time a young, inexperienced leader is going to struggle with confidence. Find even the smallest things in their life to encourage them about and that can go a long way.
Beyond encouragement listen to a young leader’s dreams and help provide them the resources to achieve them. A young leader is going to have dreams and aspirations, just as all leaders do. This could be location specific or just general to their life and what they do. Try to the best of your ability to empower the young leader to achieve these dreams-don’t just shoot down everything as impossible or improbable.
Give young leaders tasks with meaning and purpose. Don’t just give a young leader what everyone expects them to handle-give them tasks and projects that might even seem above their head. Tell them what you want to see and that failure is okay and then unleash them to succeed. Tell them they can fail-and mean it.
This is the most important part of leading young leaders. Young leaders want spiritual mentors and advisers. More than any other aspect of leading young leaders the discipleship process is the most important. Spurring on their growth as a leader is vitally important, but helping spur on their spiritual maturity and spiritual growth is the most important.
Our churches need Godly and effective young leaders, are you doing your part to raise up the next generation of leaders? If so what are you doing? Let me know!