What The Young Leaders of This Next Generation Need.
I was able to spend a weekend recently with a group of 92 men of valor. Their ages ranged from about 18- 70, and they represented more than 10 nations. It was a safe environment for all to come together in a deep relational way to discuss the issues of today, the church of today, and the direction we need to be moving towards for tomorrow.
I particularly took notice of the leaders in the generation that is coming up after me. They are passionate, and they are committed to living a life for God’s glory. They are radically in love with Jesus, and just as radical about changing the impotent ways of what they perceive about today’s Christianity. They want to be a part of birthing real communities that increasingly look more like family, and less like corporate America.
I also was amazed at how talented these young men were and how equally they were wrapped with humility. One has preached in over 450 cities around the world, and yet was amazed at Father’s continual use of Him. This young man has no formal Bible education, He just knows Jesus. He does not have degrees or pedigrees, but He is filled with the Spirit of God. Even at a young age, this man has been wrecked in a great way for the Kingdom of God.
Here are just a few of my take-aways from our time together…
They just want to be heard!
This generation carries a much-needed voice for today. We need to hear the sound of God through their perspective worldviews. They are not perfect, but are being perfected. They remind me of David’s 400 men, who all at some level had been marginalized or had lives of no reputation. The Holy Spirit inspired each of them for the King and the Kingdom, much like these young leaders of today.
This generation of leaders is not enamored by stardom, but by righteousness, authenticity, and humility towards God and mankind. Many of them commented that they do not look up to leaders who desire “Superstar Status”. They do not want to be viewed as merely armor bearers, because they have their own purpose, and want to engage in the battle. They want to walk beside those they can learn from, and fight alongside them the good fight of faith. They will serve leaders that seek to serve and not seek to be served.
Many of these men are looking for fathers of the faith that will be real with them. They want dialogue, they want the truth expressed through real relationship, and not some religious hierarchical chain of command. They want leaders to answer questions that they may be afraid to ask. They desire intimacy with leaders who live transparent lives that manifest the idea, “Into me You See”
Kingdomized Gender Equality
The married men grasped the fact that their wives were partners in every possible way for the Kingdom. In some cases their wives might even have a greater public voice or influence than themselves, and they were okay with God’s will in such matters. John Wayne is not their hero, Jesus is, and Jesus gave women the right to be and to do all the things God may call a man to do. In the Kingdom of God there is no male or female, but obedience and recognition of each one’s calling and assignments. These men get this. The single men there are trusting God to reveal their partners one day, and have the heart to allow their partner to flourish in all the things of God.
Another quality I observed was the amazing ability to honor those in authority, but with an incredible lack of fear towards men in authority. There was honor and yet little fear. One young man was also writing a biblical research paper to one of his mentors to challenge some paradigms and ways that may not be God’s best. They do not fear tomorrow. They are passionate about how the Father may use them to bring solutions to humanity in whatever part of the world the Lord sends them into.
Our Father is speaking to fathers
We all must do everything we can to embrace the young men and women who will lead the future generations. Some final thoughts:
- We must repent if we have gotten in God’s way in how we have related and imparted to them
- We must set a new course in how we relate with them going forward.
- God is making it clear that He only wants one Superstar, and that is His Son Jesus. All other Superstars, please step down. God has proven that He can make a way for you to step down if you need it, but please listen to His voice today and step down.
- Remove the fear of man from your life, ask the Lord and seek wise counsel if necessary.
- Have a righteous fear of God, and only obey His voice for the training of these young leaders.
- Ask the Lord for His perspectives regarding how you may be choosing those you are working with. Have you disregarded some based on human understanding?
- Do all for the glory of God and remove all hidden agenda’s.