You have a ton of value to add to the young leaders in your life. My hope is that you are passionate about training younger leaders and empowering them to see what God has designed them to do. The Kingdom of God is stronger when young leaders are mentored and guided by their more seasoned counterparts.
I’ve been blessed as a young leader to experience each of these 4 things in my life and ministry.
And for the veteran leader who is reading this right now, allow me to let you in on a secret: good young leaders deeply desire that you invest in them. Many of them are teachable and willing to listen and learn. If you have people like that in your life, be sure to give them these 4 things. You’ll find that the fruit that comes from it is more than you could imagine.
4 Big Things Every Young Leader Needs From You
Doing the work is the best preparation for the work anyone can ever experience.
Within two and a half months of arriving at Bible College, I was given the opportunity to become the youth minister at a church in Kentucky. I had no experience, and no clue how youth ministry was done. But as I got into it, I learned. The funny thing is, the first time I was ever at youth group was when I was leading it. That’s what happens when you come to Christ in college.
You have a young leader in your life right now who is one opportunity away from seeing their God given purpose in life. Will you be the one to give them that opportunity?
One of the things I implemented as a part of my youth ministry was training our HS students, who were interested, to teach the Bible to our MS students and lead them in small group discussions.
If I never took that chance, we would have missed out on the blessings that came from it.
Seeing a young leader take hold of an opportunity is a great experience and a necessary action for veteran leaders.
The young leader in your life needs to know what he/she doesn’t know. They need books that stretch them in their thinking and their doing. They need conversations with you to help them navigate what they are reading.
Theologically, that young leader needs to realize that they are on a journey of discovering the riches of the immeasurable depths of God. Their theology, then, may change over time. Remind them of this.
Ministerially, that young leader needs to realize that they are on a journey of discovering how to be the person God designed them to be and the way they should do ministry is with that reality in mind and not with comparison in mind. The worst thing a young leader can do is compare their progress to others.
More and more, young leaders desire information and insight about ministry and life from veteran leaders in their lives.
Encourage that young leader away from what is and toward what could be.
They are aware of their shortcomings and want to improve, but they need you to be someone who is going to go beyond ‘good job’ and, instead, cast a vision of ‘what could be’.
Challenge them and empower them to step into what God wants to do in and through them.
Don’t be afraid to challenge them to go beyond where they think they can go. Challenge them well and be by their side offering encouragement along the way.
It’s likely that you see something in that young leader that he doesn’t see in himself. Call it out of him.
When you are the one offering encouragement to the young leader in your life, they’ll naturally go to you for the next thing.
The young leader in your life wants to improve as a leader.
If you’ve been generous in offering the first three things to him, you’ll have the necessary voice to offer the fourth thing – evaluation.
If they are teaching the Bible to people, they will want evaluation on how well they are doing and how they can improve.
If they are leading a small group, they will want evaluation on how well they are leading the discussion, challenging their group, and how they can improve.
You get the idea.
If this young leader trusts you and they want to genuinely be the best they can be, they’ll desire honest evaluation from you.
When you evaluate them, identify specific things and show them how they can improve. But don’t miss the most important thing in evaluation – the why. If you want them to immediately take the evaluation to heart, show them the why of what you are saying.
What Would You Add?
What did I miss? What are other things young leaders need from you?
I’d love to hear from you!