Main Article – The Next Generation

By: Bryan Sampson

Over the next year, we as a region will be mining through Andy Stanley’s “Next Generation Leader” to pull insights and wisdom that will hopefully improve our leadership skills, but before we get to the what we are doing it is always good to ask why. This allows us to understand the heart and greater purpose behind the training.

Why Staff Trainings?

To understand why we believe that our staff meetings should contain a training component we should hear Paul’s words written to the Ephesians “… and He (Jesus) gave gifts to men… and He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds, and teachers, to equip the saints for the work in ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (4:8-13).

Unfortunately, there is a wrong way to do ministry. We have all witnessed this within our centers and at times have been guilty of it ourselves. It’s time to repent, get rid of the excuses, and take serious the growth, development, and sanctification of ourselves and our future leaders. We want the next generation of leaders to grow in the fullness of Christ, understanding how to do ministry in a way that honors Him. Our staff meetings provide excellent opportunities for us to equip the saints for God glorifying work in Teen Challenge ministries.

Why Next Generation Leader?

How should we measure success as leaders in Teen Challenge? Is it the bottom line of our centers’ financial statements? Should it be based on recidivism? Or maybe on graduation rates? While all of these would be good measures to understand the program, none of them can measure longevity and success.

Stanley states that “In leadership, success is succession.” If the people coming up behind us are not able to take what we have offered and build on it, then we have failed in our responsibility to the next generation (p.11). The only way Teen Challenge will be able to serve the generations that follow is by raising up leaders to fulfill the roles that are needed. We fail as leaders if we aren’t preparing our replacements.

We must realize that God is giving us pastoral leaders, teachers, IT professionals, counselors, etc… to grow, develop, and mature in Christ. We want to invest in those who are destined to leave the world a better place than they found it, a place where God’s will is done. As a region, we want to raise up the leaders within our program that are going to shape our ministry and our future for the better.

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