Leading the Next Generation is all about investing in the leaders of the next generation. To lead them well, we must invest in their future. This investment will have ministry benefits for you right away, but also shape the trajectory of a young leader in ways that can benefit the future of this ministry and kingdom work for the future. It is about them … Young leaders require energy… But they give a type of energy also… Working with them helps keep you younger, but the focus is on them.
This summer at CentriKid Camps, we asked some intentional questions about using teens and college workers in your kids programs. We asked:
- Do you have teens and college workers in your kids program?
- What wins have you experienced with them in your ministry?
- How have you seen them be successful?
- What challenges do you encounter with them?
We had some great feedback and I’ve collected all those discussions and ideas in this “mind map” document. Click the image to open and download the full-size version.
Leading the next generation could mean plugging in teens to work in your kids ministry or it could mean that you are preparing to hire a college student as an intern. In any case, these principles can help make the investment beneficial for next month and the next decades of kingdom work. Your intentional investment can last long after the time you have with these young leaders.
Acclimate them to your team. Don’t just take whoever shows up and throw them in to ministry. Implement a selection process and train workers on your team. In some cases, you may not be interviewing for a full-time position but you are looking to fill a specific role. Take the time to have a conversation about what the role entails and the expectations are. The level of formality for this conversation needs to fit the role. After selection, train you leaders for the skills and for the culture you want your team to have.
Develop their competency. Helping young leaders grow their skill set through practical experience is amplified when you provide them with feedback along the way. We use a reading plan with our CentriKid office team and after serving as a summer staffer or office team member, I hope that young leaders catch the vision for being a life-long learner.
Expose them to new concepts. New team members need a behind-the-scenes tour. Young leaders who have potential for growth need to be exposed to working within a budget, professionalism, and excellence. You can help them develop an understanding of the balance between ministry training and business principles. They need to learn about evaluation, making tough decisions, and serving behind the scenes before moving to a new setting with greater responsibilities.
Propel them forward to their next steps in the journey. When leading the next generation, keep in mind that they are with you for a season, but will continue in kingdom work long after they serve in your ministry. Encourage them, keep the lines of communication open, and you can even continue to coach them (when they ask!). The baby bird only flies when it leaves the nest, so prepare, train and then equip them to move on to new things God has for their journey.
This post is adapted from the breakout session I led at the ETCH Conference in Nashville. If you were unable to attend the 2016 ETCH Conference, you can still purchase the ETCH16 digital pass that contains all the Main Session speakers and audio from each Breakout Session. [Available 10/21/16]