As I sit and listen to emerging leaders, what I notice is they aren’t crying out for more teaching or the latest book to read, they have the means to access that information. What I do hear them saying is they crave proximity to excellent leaders, usually older than themselves, to grow and be equipped.
I believe one of the big challenges facing us right now is in developing the next generation of leaders who are willing and ready to take on the next wave of senior leadership roles.
Jesus approach to building leaders was a layered life on life method with a blend of theory and practice. Jesus taught and cared for the masses – for example, feeding the 5000 (Matthew 14: 13-21) and the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). He trained up the 72 and sent them out two by two (Luke 10). He called and trained a smaller group, the 12 – called them by name to be ‘with him’ (Mark 3:14), shared life on life with them, and gave them specific ministry assignments (Mark 3: 14-15). He also went deeper and poured into the 3, Peter, James and John. They had some extra access into the private world and thoughts of King Jesus – for example, the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22: 39-46), the Transfiguration (Matthew 17), and the healing of Jarius daughter (Luke 8: 51).
I love what Michael Hyatt (gun social commentator and leadership guru) says, “after interacting with leaders on every level for more than 3 decades, my observation is that most leaders only focus on the first two strategies (masses and 72). They have a public teaching ministry and are good at mobilising groups for specific assignments. However, very few intentionally train a small group of disciples. Even fewer build deep relationships with a handful of confidants. As a result they do not have the kind of lasting impact they could have.” (http://michaelhyatt.com/the-leadership-strategy-of-jesus.html)
I want to say that as leaders of all ages, we have been built into along our journey. But that isn’t enough. We need to have a commitment to multiply that investment, not only to the masses and 72, but to the 12 and especially to the 3. I believe we have and are being built into to build into others. At the core of Jesus leadership development approach is relationship and multiplication. Therefore, it needs to be at the heart of our discipleship and leadership development.
A personal conviction of mine is as we raise up this emerging generation is not more programs (we have enough great development vehicles in play), but that “we have more leaders investing into more leaders lives.” We will really develop leaders in a way they need to lead by pulling them in nice and close and teach them, life on life, like Jesus did.
My challenge to us all is, will you embrace this paradigm of being built into to build? Will you go beyond the masses and 72, and give big chunks of time into developing the 12 and 3? Can you name the emerging leaders on your radar you can be proactive with and invest in?
Why not share below how you are already living this challenge out….
Thanks heaps for writing this article Mike. We couldn’t agree more!!!
You can check out more of Mike Stevens’ thoughts on leadership and youth ministry on his website.