Tag Archive - identify

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3 Challenges that Every Young Leader Faces

Young leaders face all kinds of challenges. But there are 3 challenges in particular that all young leaders face early on. If not handled well these three challenges can lead to stress, anxiety, insecurity and frustration. Add all of that up and you’ve got a recipe designed to not only undermine your current leadership role but keep you from growing as a leader.

1. Leading People who are Older than You

It can be very intimidating as a young leader to be given the task to lead people who are the age of your parents or grandparents. The Apostle Paul understood this leadership challenge when he wrote to a young leader by the name of Timothy:

“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” I Timothy 4:12

Paul challenges Timothy to realize that he is personally responsible for how he behaves as a young leader regardless of what others may think. That he is responsible for what happens in him as a young leader, regardless of what is happening to him. The best approach I’ve seen young leaders take is to take on a posture of humility and then deliver on what they say they are going to do. In other words, produce. Let your play on the field do your talking for you. There is no faster way to earn respect and trust than to do what you say you’re going to do, follow through, and show yourself trustworthy.

2. A Shallow Leadership Well

Often young leaders don’t know what to do because they haven’t done it before. Leadership isn’t learned in a classroom it’s learned by leading. The unfortunate thing is young leaders come with an inherent lack of experience. And the only way to get leadership experience is to lead. But you can deepen your leadership well and, “go to school,” so to speak on others experience. Listening to leadership podcasts, reading blogs on leadership, reading books on leadership, getting in a leadership coaching network, surrounding yourself with other leaders, get face-time with experienced leaders ask questions and then just listen. Get as much “leadership” poured into you as you can as a young leader. These are all things you can do as a young leader to deepen your leadership well.

3. Impatience

Young leaders simply don’t have enough “time in” to understand the value of timing. I get it. I too used to get frustrated about the whole, “finding joy in the journey,” thing. I wanted to make a first down, score a touchdown and win! There’s nothing wrong with ambition, a love for progress, and a deep desire to move people from where they are to where you know God wants them to be. But the right decision, at the right time, executed right way; by the right person is the right thing. Impatience has a tendency to mess all that up.

Interested in learning more about Young Leaders in the Church? Check out these resources:

1. How to Identify Young Leaders in the Church

2. How to Develop Young Leaders

3. Leadership Lessons I Wish I Understood as a Young Leader

Photo Credit: NikonGirl1969 via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership

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How to Develop Young Leaders

Volumes have been written about investing in and developing young leaders. While there are a lot of great resources out there I think often times we over-complicate what it means to develop young leaders. In fact here are four simple steps that Sr. Level Leaders can take to invest in the next generation of leaders.

Invite Them to the Big Table

Remember sitting at the kids’ table during Thanksgiving dinner growing up? A simple way to invest in young leaders is to invite them to the big table. Give them access to attend Sr. Leadership Team meetings and see how seasoned leaders work with one another and make high level leadership decisions.

Take Them With You

One of the easiest and most overlooked opportunities Sr. Leaders have to invest in the next generation of leaders is to simply take them with you. Meetings, trips, speaking engagements, training opportunities, etc. Just let them be around you and watch you do what you do, the conversations you have and the decisions you make. Then let them ask questions and debrief what they observed.

Resource Them

Resource them with books, articles, blogs, and trainings that support the thinking, behaviors, and culture your church is trying to build. But don’t leave it there. Make sure you take the time to discuss key leanings and applications.

Give Them Opportunities

The best kind of training is on the job training. And leadership isn’t learned in a classroom…it’s learned by leading. Identify, create, and give young leaders the opportunity to lead small projects.

Having Difficulty Identifying Young Leaders on Your Team? A good place to start is before every hire you make or every volunteer you place begin asking yourself, “How young can we go with this next hire or volunteer placement and still get the job done?” Questions like this will begin to shift the thinking of your Sr. Leaders. Which will result in changing the behaviors of your church or organization.


Posted in Leadership, Staffing