Raising up leaders is a necessity, not an option.
Without intentionally developing leaders, we are intentionally creating dependency on ourselves and ignoring the future leadership needs of our church or ministry organization. The importance of developing others is clearly identified in 2 Timothy 2:2: “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”
So, what are you doing to raise up leaders?
The following suggestions are based on a blog by Ron Edmondson. To read it, click here.
1. Provide opportunities:
Invite emerging leaders to take responsibility for projects. While having them in the driver’s seat, stay by their side, in the passenger seat, to be able to talk about the progress of the project.
2. Enjoy experiences together:
Use shared experiences as a foundation for training. The developmental process is often described as:
I do, you watch
I do, you help
You do, I help
You do, I watch
3. Be flexible and yet directive:
Some projects are easier to manage than others. Be flexible in regard to expectations and outcomes. Use the experiences for learning and providing positive reinforcement. Teach as Scripture teaches “for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
4. Be receptive to change:
New leaders are likely to think and do things differently from more experienced and established leaders. Be open to the ways in which new leaders may be more creative and even more productive than if things were done in the “old way.”
5. Have high expectations:
Be able to define what a win looks like. Have clearly defined goals and objectives. Celebrate good work but do not be afraid to discuss places where the leader has missed the mark.
6. Provide encouragement:
Everyone needs to be valued and affirmed, especially new leaders. Use phrases like, “I appreciate the way you…,” ”I love how you said…,” and “You hit that one out of the ball park…”
7. Give constructive feedback:
Constructive feedback rarely says something negative or corrective without first preceding it with a statement of affirmation. This kind of feedback also asserts the value of the new leaders and often confirms the participant’s calling and strengths.
Ron Edmonson, in discussing the development of new leaders, says, “Raising up younger leaders is crucial to growing and maintaining healthy organizations and churches. We must be intentional and diligent about investing in the next generation, understanding their differences, and working within their culture to grow new leaders.”