Training Up New Leaders
Mentoring others to grow as leaders requires us to exercise a certain amount of faith and trust in our members, our interns, and ultimately in what the Lord is doing in their lives. Some people view empowering others as a risky move since they do not really know whether the person they are entrusting other people to will be a good leader. However, we need to entrust God and remember that someone took the same risk with us.
This will cost us, as we will need to spend a significant amount of time, energy, and effort to make the relational investment in our interns – and for a lot of people, there needs a justification for the cost. However, though there will be highs and lows, we will ultimately find that the reward is greater than the risk. We may not have quantifiable data, but at the very least, we know that we have planted seeds of the Gospel in the lives of these people no matter what may happen.
Also need to consider the fact that of the twelve disciples of Jesus, one fell away. This shows us that not all interns we train can follow through, even during Biblical times. Nevertheless, the leader who raised them is not liable for their mistakes. In fact, the greatest leader to ever walk on the planet trained Judas, yet he still somewhat failed in his relationship with God.
Let go of false burdens.
We remember not to carry too much of the burden should people fall or things fail. We also need to start letting our members and interns be accountable for their decisions in their personal relationships with the Lord. At the same time, we must also not allow this revelation to stop or discourage us because the success rate is far higher than the opposite at the end of the day. In fact, another way we can look at it is this: if we actually take the risk, we may end up raising this generation’s version of the Apostles Peter, James, or John.
But to do this, we need to take the time to establish reciprocal trust with them. They have to know that they can run to us should something wrong happen or need wisdom. Some of us need to keep quiet when our interns are opening up. You need to pause before issuing corrections and directions.
We remember that our goal is not to churn out leaders for the sake of it. Instead, we are to be responsible for the people God has entrusted to us. Your role is to love and to serve them in whatever capacity. We need to be careful to impart a heart of servant leadership and an attitude full of love and grace. They will exhibit what you have modeled in their future small group members and interns.
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