Dear Mentors In The Church…

Being a young guy who is in the process of getting ready to head out and plant a church, I have been thinking a lot about leadership development lately. I have had some very godly men who have invested in my life and who have helped me think through these things as I have grown.

I have noticed at times, that older men and leaders seem to be a bit puzzled with exactly how to deal with the younger, eager and passionate men in their church.

Below are 5 things I would tell those older who wonder exactly how to deal with us young guns.

1.     Be Transparent with Us

2.     Challenge Us

3.     Trust Us

4.     Confront Us

5.     Listen to Us

1.     Be Transparent with Us

While sharing with us your favorite author and your vast theological knowledge is very important, we also need to see how you are as a husband and father. We need to know areas that you have struggled in when it comes to “loving your wife as Christ loved the church” and in raising your kids. Take us with you on counseling trips, share and show us how you seek to be missional in your life. These areas of your life are what show us you actually believe what you read and know.

2.     Challenge Us

Expect us to show up on time, expect us to be able to handle big projects, work hard and be eager to learn. Give us books to read and expect us to read them and be able to tell you what we have learned. Our generation needs to be challenged; we need to be given responsibility.

3.     Trust Us

Challenging us also means trusting us. Giving us new responsibility means we may fall on our faces, we may mess up, we may not get it just the “way you would have done it”. Trusting us though gives us ownership, and develops us as leaders. It may be in the best interest of the short term of getting things done right, but for the long term development of leaders, having things done imperfectly, but in ways that grow us will help the long term health of the church.

4.     Confront Us

When we do mess up, when we do show our youthful arrogant side, be willing to lovingly confront us. If you have been transparent, and have challenged and trusted us, we will listen. In fact we will be eager to listen and learn from your critique. If you have lacked doing the first 3 however, confronting us will just discourage us and make you look more like a tyrant than a shepherd.

5.     Listen to Us

The reality is, we are the next generation. We see culture different than you do. We see how the gospel speaks into it in ways you may not. It may be easy to dismiss us and to see us as young and arrogant, but listening to us then allows you to be able to help us see how to properly minister to the next generation.

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