Eight Ways to Develop Young Leaders

Monday is for Discussion

Terry Ivy, a friend with a fantastic ministry training church planters via the internet in India, wrote a great post titled What Kind of Leaders are We Creating?  Recently, I have had some opportunity to reflect on both his post and my response to it through some men that I’m mentoring. 

I’m convinced that pride is at the heart of this issue. But it’s not just the pride of the younger guys; its the pride of we older, more seasoned veterans of the Kingdom. I have seen guys dig in their heels and refuse to learn from a brother who they deemed less than them. Both younger guys and older guys are not immune. It’s epidemic in the body of Christ.

How do we prevent it? Maybe this is a start:

  1. Be ruthless on our own pride. Kill it at every opportunity.
  2. Cultivate listening ears in our own soul. We need to model what we want young leaders to become.
  3. Be patient. Young leaders don’t need to be corrected on every stupid decision they make. Sometimes, the only way to learn is to fail first. Be there to pick them up when they fall.
  4. Be gentle but firm when the window of humility opens up in their heart.
  5. Ask more questions. Let them discover the path.
  6. Give them new opportunities or encourage them to new, bold steps after failure. 
  7. Let them know we haven’t given up on them and believe that God is going to use them mightily for his glory.
  8. Keep pointing them to the cross and the glory of Christ. The cross, the cross, the cross slices through our pride and produces all good things.
If we want to produce better leaders we have to be better leaders and that means walking closer to The Leader, our Master, the one we call Lord and Savior, Redeemer and yes, Friend.
Add to my list. How do we conquer the insidious serpent of pride so that the men we lead, young and old, have a model of how to conquer the same serpent for the glory of God and the joy of all?
Marty Schoenleber, Jr. is the founding pastor of one church, teaching pastor of another and the church planting trainer/mentor of over 200 other church planting pastors. He ihas served as an adjunct professor of Church Planting at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and taught Preaching at the International School of Theology, and Evangelism at Moody Graduate School of Theology. His latest book is Picking a President: Or Any Other Elected Official (CrossBooks). To enjoy a free subscription to his blog, log-on to www.chosenrebel.wordpress.com, where you can post your comments, view past blogs in our archive and read the latest reflections on church planting, Biblical Expositions and musings about church, culture and spiritual formation. Follow Pastor Marty on twitter @1Chosenrebel4JC.

3 thoughts on “Eight Ways to Develop Young Leaders

  1. Amen, Marty! I whole-heartily agree. We older guys cannot be the role models we should be if we justify any taint of pride or an unteachable spirit in our ministry! Good stuff… I’m convinced the generational gap lies mainly at the feet of the older generation. After all, we should have the experience to understand the gap, where the younger guys are new to the issue. Reminds me of a father speaking to his 3 year old son and saying, “You will not listen, so I’m not talking with you anymore.” May our gracious Lord use us to be genuine fathers in the faith as we see our true need, are broken over our pride, and tremble at His Word. (Isa. 66:2) Pray for me as I seek to be an encourager to the young leaders, not a critic who stands afar off. Thanks brother…Terry


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