"The next generation product almost never comes from the previous generation." (Al Reis, Focus)
Here's my personal take-away from Al Reis' observation above: To those of us who are over 45 years-old and leaders in a local church... our job is to recognize good ideas and to champion the ideas of the next generation of leaders.
So to the the leaders of my generation I say, "Let's not do to the next generation leaders what the previous generation did to us. Let's be students, not critics."
Here are three ways in which I'm convinced my generation of local church leaders can support the next generation of leaders:
#1 – Do Our Best To Fund Their Movement And Not Fight It
The next generation leaders will do ministry in ways that haven’t been thought of yet. They will do things that make me uncomfortable. They will take the things we are doing now (and calling innovative) and refer to them as traditional. I can either face the truth or get buried by it. My job as a leader is to fund them and set them up for success… not fight them.
#2 – Do Our Best To Learn From Them
I hope I never act “Yoda-like” and pretend that I have all of the answers and need no input from them. I want to pour myself into the next generation leaders that are coming behind me… but there is a great deal I am going to be able to learn and apply from them. Only arrogance and pride will make me think that I need to have all of the answers and can’t ask any of the questions.
#3 – Do Our Best To Encourage Them
I don’t want to be the old guy who tells the next generation leaders they can’t do what God has clearly told them they can and should do. I want to be the guy who tells them to pursue what God has placed on their hearts.