Leaders develop leaders

It takes a leader to develop a leader – leaders learn best from other leaders. Emerging leaders want to be around leaders who have battle scars; who have actually been in the game and have a few blood stains on their uniforms. For emerging leaders to be seasoned, wise, and effective leaders, they need proximity to, and interaction with veteran leaders.

How do we do this?

  1. In Jesus’ day, it was common for leaders-in-training to simply follow the veteran leader around. They would walk together, talk together, eat their meals together, sleep in neighboring tents – they spent months and years living life with Jesus. The Scene_from_passion_of_the_christdisciples internalize the vision and values of the veteran leader in ways that served them the rest of their lives.  Although this sounds simple and time-sensitive, it was effective then, and can be effective now – there is no substitute for personal investment. Those of us who are more seasoned in leadership should order our lives in such a way that we can carve out time to invest in Gen-next.
  2. Mentor and coach small groups of young leaders. Mentoring and coaching curriculum like Start Right Mentoring are available to help in any situation. It is the responsibility of veterans to provide the necessary opportunities so the next generation of leaders will be trained and ready to meet the challenges of the future.

What is the best catalyst for a leader’s growth?

Make him or her lead something. After Jesus identified and invested in his disciples, the moment came when He said “Pack your bags, it’s show time!” It’s make-it or break-it time! It’s swim or sink time. He didn’t minimize the challenge; He sent them out like sheep among wolves. This is the real deal. The stakes are high, the possibility of failure is real and I’m not going to protect you from all risks. You’ve got to step out and go lead! We must hand emerging leaders an important kingdom baton, not a little make-believe job or a low-stakes challenge. Something that will make them feel believed in, valued, and held in high esteem. Something that will make them fall on their knees and cry out for God’s help; something that will demand the best they have to offer. Leaders live for high-stakes challenges; kingdom goals that make them gasp and gulp.

What am I advocating for?

High stakes leadership and Kingdom challenges. Provide opportunities, stand by our emerging leaders, cheer them on, help them solve problems, pray for them and coach them to higher effectiveness. Help them find their niche and reach their full potential. Whatever challenges Teen Challenge face in the years ahead, I hope we can face them with confidence knowing that we were wise enough to invest in Gen-next.

Article by: Andree Aiken, ELP Leader/Coach

Excerpts from the book Courageous Leadership by Bill Hybels

Insights from the Rep’s

A LEADER WORTH FOLLOWING

 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep”  John 10:11.

Some questions that humble me as a leader are; “Am I a leader worth following?” “Do I model the values of our work and home culture?” “Do I do what I ask the team to do?”  “Am I willing to give up my own interests for what’s best for everyone else?” And the question that looms largest, “Will I lay down my life for my family and friends?” For me to be a leader worth following, I will answer affirmative to these revealing questions. Mostly though, I must follow the good shepherd – Jesus.

The Good Shepherd Defends

Jesus is the ultimate leader worth following. He is not “a,” but “the” Good Shepherd. He is good because He is God, and He grows good leaders. The good shepherd Jesus defends the sheep from aggressive enemies. Just as the shepherd David battled the lion and bear on behalf of his flock, so Jesus engages the enemy on our behalf. He sees danger coming before we do, so what may seem an unnecessary diversion may be His protection from a bad decision or bad people.

“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty” (Proverbs 27:12).

The Good Shepherd Protects

A leader worth following protects his or her people. He lays down his life, his interests, and his ego for the greater good. The others-centered leader also invests in her team. She spends time in mentorship. Over lunch she systematically  helps the less experienced process their pressure points. The leader is vulnerable about her own issues and how she learned from others. A safe culture invites honesty, and the opportunity for professional growth.

Furthermore, what are some ways you can invest in the character of those who look to you as their leader? You have to be good in order to teach others how to be good. Your generosity enhances a culture of generosity. Your care creates a caring culture. Expose your team to books, training and conferences that challenge and grow their character and skills. Begin a weekly or monthly educational process that infuses the values of the culture throughout the enterprise. A leader worth following is out front as an example, among the team to learn, and behind in prayer.

“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

Prayer: Heavenly Father grow me into a leader worth following. Lead me to lead like Jesus

Article contribution by: Deanna Trujillo (ELP Representative – Pensacola Women’s Home)

Insights from the Reps

There is no orientation course for servant leadership. John 10:7 says, “Truly. Truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.” The only true way to lead our students is through good-shepherd-jesus-christ-the-i-43875Jesus in our personal lives. We must have our own salvation worked out daily if we ever will learn how to lead others. This is the only model of leadership that brings about true
discipleship. This is what truly separates the hired hand from the shepherd.

John 10:12-13 says, “He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep, and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep,”

Many who are called into this ministry fall upon fatigue and warfare due to the inconsistency of the first principle mentioned above. If we are not receiving Jesus for ourselves, how do we possibly stand to be surprised by the warfare we entangle ourselves in? I don’t want to be the hired hand that seeks a position or visibility, only to abandon the sheep. I desire more than that. I want to be like the Good Shepherd, going before the sheep and laying down my life like Jesus. We all have to avoid self-preservation, like the hired hand that soon flees when the warfare comes.

If we ever want to truly raise up spiritual sons and daughters in Teen Challenge, we must learn the methods of the Good Shepherd. We must go before our students and exemplify servant leadership. I pray that we will come together with a desire to awaken the sons and daughters of God within this ministry. Through this, will we will form a radical band of disciples, called Gen Next.

Written by Brittany Hughes (ELP REP Southwest FL Women’s)