As you’ve probably noticed, there’s a new generation of ministry leadership ready and waiting in the wings. But this blog isn’t directed at the younger generations, it’s directed at the older generations who should (must) be training up our future leaders. Generation X and the Millennials are getting ready to take over your churches and your ministries—and in some places they already have—but what are you doing to train up these generations into successful leaders?
There are two things I know for sure about the younger generations. First is that they’re very skeptical. Good stories of success aren’t enough; they want to see the proof. Secondly, when it comes to giving, they want to get involved long before they’ll ever write a check. With Gen X nearing their peak income and influence potential as church leadership, and the Millennials not far behind, it’s important not only to learn about the younger generations, but to be actively engaged with them.
There needs to be a focus, in ministry especially, for older generations to make a concerted effort to reach out to and communicate with the younger generations. Given the tech savvy-ness of the younger set, the communication may or may not happen in person. I’ve come to the revelation that I need to implement a blog and other social networking tools to keep in touch and help equip the younger generations. If we don’t do it, who will?
I’ve also come to realize that we have young leadership coming up that doesn’t know how ministry operates. They don’t understand the nuts and bolts of ministry operation. I can think of one example of a church that has a very successful young adult ministry operating underneath it. The young pastor running this ministry is great at what he does—teaching and equipping his peers. But if he were to ever decide to take the ministry out on his own, I fear he would fail.
Because he’s always operated under the larger church structure with experienced leaders at the helm, this young minister wouldn’t know the first thing about budgeting, facility licenses and maintenance and the like. If this scenario happened, and he did fail, it wouldn’t be as much a failure on the young pastor’s part as it would be on the more experienced ministry leaders around him who didn’t invest the time to make sure he is a well-rounded ministry leader.
If you, as a battle-tested, mature ministry leader, don’t become intentional about equipping young leaders, you’re actually handicapping them for their future leadership roles. I want to challenge ministry leaders to put at least one third of their time into equipping the 38 and younger crowd. It’s not just the “right thing to do,” it’s essential to the future success of our churches and ministries.
You can learn more at Raise Your Vision Online Forum.
About Michael Stickler
Mike is an author, radio host, and a highly sought after motivational speaker. His best-selling book, A Journey to Generosity, is widely acclaimed throughout the Christian community. Mike Stickler is the founder of The Vision Group, LTD. This organization offers ministries and nonprofit foundations a Christian perspective in overcoming the challenges of raising funds.
Over the course of his career, Mike has published over forty books that have made a difference through thousands of churches, nonprofits and foundations as they serve the world.