03 December 2012
Identifying and training younger leaders
Three things have fuelled my desire to identify and train emerging leaders. Firstly my own personal journey - at 17 I was leading the Youth Group in my local church, by 19 I was at Bible College and at 26 I was leading a Baptist church. I love leading a local church; I’ve made lots of mistakes and learned loads. Secondly, I started reading widely on the subject of leadership and discovered authors saying similar things. In particular was the 'need for a new kind of leadership' - models of leadership and church that have worked well in the past are being challenged and new models are emerging in order to engage with a rapidly changing world. Thirdly I have been involved in the releasing and equipping of young leaders. In Chester I have been working with many young leaders in their 20s who are looking for opportunities to lead within a strong relational context where they can be accountable and find support.
So I am always on the lookout for emerging leaders and as I reflect on how we can begin to identity them I use the following acronym:
For a person to be considered for a position of leadership they must exhibit certain gifting to qualify. Leadership is about call and gifting from God to a particular role and function that will serve the congregation.
Leadership is about working out the purpose and vision that God has given us – this can be reduced to two main goals:
Is this person becoming more Christ-like in their lifestyle?
Is the person living a lifestyle that demonstrates the good news to a lost world?
And then, how is this person helping others to these goals?
God given authority will be seen in this person by the way others listen to what they say. Leadership at the end of the day is summed up by the influence you exert. They will have influence and they must recognise that this influence can be used for good and ill. Therefore, the authority they seek to have must demonstrate itself with a willingness to serve.
The evidence of the fruit of the spirit must be seen in the person, a desire and aptitude to become more “Christ-like”. In each one of the people I meet with I am looking for 4 key things: humility, faith, gratitude and servant heartedness, when I see them in a person then I know that in time a leader can emerge We set leaders up for a fall if we encourage them to envision what they can do before we consider the kind of person they should be!
Leadership is never about position; it is about empowering those you lead to become the person God called them to be. The focus of leadership is not itself but those it seeks to lead, a desire to continually release others into leadership roles is essential.
By working through these areas we can begin to identify the next generation of 'GRACE' leaders…
by Andy Glover, team leader at Hoole Baptist Church