SteveMurrell.com | Reluctant Leader

Leadership

Leading WITH the Next Generation

August 7, 2007

A few blogs ago – seems like a month ago – I summarized the 2007 Every Nation World Conference in 5 statements:
    1. We are called to the ends of the earth.
    2. We need the power & presence of the Holy Spirit.
    3. We must remember the poor.
    4. We must empower the next generation.
    5. "All we need is love."

Here are my quick thoughts on point #4…

We must empower the next generation.

There seems to be an endless debate on the culture clash between established leaders and emerging leaders, especially in the church world. (If this "emerging leader" phrase is new to you, think "spiritual generation gap" – to the 10th power.)   

Some of the stuff I read makes the situation look pretty hopeless. But when I read the Bible, which says there is nothing new under the sun, I find hope that 2 generations can work and lead together.

Paul & Timothy. Elijah & Elisha. Moses & Joshua.

And there was King Saul and David, at least for a couple of chapters. I know we don’t usually hold King Saul up as a model leader, but when in terms of empowering next generation leaders there is much to  learn from him. (See 1 Samuel 17:38-40) 

Saul gave David his armor to fight Goliath. David’s generation had their own way of fighting giants – sticks, stones and slings. That was OK with Saul. So, with a stick in one hand and a sling in the other, David planted a stone in Goliath’s head.

Here are some leadership lessons established and emerging leaders must learn if we hope to slay the modern giants that mock our God:

Like Saul who thought he was helping and protecting David, established leaders often force our armor on the next generation.

Like most emerging leaders, David was not comfortable fighting in Saul’s armor.

Unlike many established leaders, Saul actually LISTENED TO the next generation’s complaints and EMPOWERED David to choose a style he was comfortable with.

Unlike many emerging leaders, David RESPECTFULLY declined Saul’s armor. David did not sarcastically blog about and trash the armor. He simply said HE was not comfortable in it. 

My generation knows how to teach and lead the next generation. If we are serious about reaching the ends of the earth, we can learn much from Saul & David about how to LISTEN TO and LEAD WITH the next generation.

The fact is, emerging leaders
will be established leaders sooner than later, and they will have to
figure out how to LEAD WITH the next group of emerging leaders, who
will probably think the old way of doing church is irrelevant and
outdated.

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