Javascript is used to edit round corners of different sections and help users move to the top of web pages. It will not hinder users' web browsing activity.
circle cape rectangular decorative photos circle cape rectangular decorative photos

Font :

  1. S
  2. M
  3. L
  4. XL


  1. Facebook icon
  2. Plurk icon
  3. Twitter icon

BELOIT COLLEGE RECENTLY PUBLISHED a list of the characteristics of its incoming freshmen. These lists always make me aware of how changes in culture affect the attitudes and experiences of young people. Some facts about the class of 2012 are trivial and funny; others are sobering. The next generation of leaders will have grown up with texting, cell phones, iPods, and Wikipedia rather than writing letters, calling from pay phones, Sony Walkmen, and the Encyclopedia Britannica. No matter what the changes in the culture, developing future generations of leaders must be based on timeless principles.

The heart of the leader is more important. The Lord said to Samuel,“Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7). God is looking for those whose hearts are completely his (2 Chron. 16:9). He esteems those who are humble, contrite, and who tremble at his Word (Isa. 66:2b). There is no room for leaders who don’t walk the talk. Jesus’ example of washing the disciples’ feet makes his teaching about being a servant come alive. His open rebuke of the Pharisees for seeking positions of honor and making a show of their religiosity challenge our notions of outward spirituality without inward reality. Leaders need to be continually “transformed” rather than “conformed” to the world (Rom. 12:2).

God uses trials, difficulties, and challenges to expand a leader's faith, trust, and obedience. The disciples had their series of challenges from Jesus. “You give them something to eat” (Matt. 14:16). Paul experienced a variety of challenges—physical, emotional, and spiritual—as he brought the gospel to the Gentiles. In a generation that has grown up with relatively little physical hardship,next-generation leaders must understand the role trials play in their own development. Hardship and suffering form the crucible where faith is built, obedience is tested, and trust is deepened.

Leader are frequently at the frontier of their need. Leaders attempt things that have not been done. They blaze new trails. They bring new paradigms and methods. Like Joshua, they need courage and a deep-seated knowledge that the Lord will go with them (Joshua 1).

Each generation has its own battles to fight. The solutions to today’s problems will create the challenges for tomorrow’s leaders. That requires leaders who understand God’s Word, handle it accurately (2 Tim. 2:15), and apply it well to the complex issues they are facing.

Whether followers of Christ or not, people are at the heart of ministry. Loving people well is not easy; yet it is this steadfastness in loving the unlovely that is so Christlike. Our unity in the midst of diversity tells Leaders must understand the times in which they live in order to create relevant strategies that reach their audiences. the world that Christ is real. Building the skills to listen well, ask good questions, and give feedback helps leaders meet people where they are and take them to new places.

Developing leaders for the future requires payment attention to the times. The men of Issachar “understood the times and knew what Israel should do” (1 Chron. 12:32). Leaders must understand the times in which they live in order to create relevant strategies that reach their audiences. They need to be aggressive learners. Changes in technology challenge traditional distribution methods and make rapid dissemination of information possible. Urbanization and globalization challenge us to see the world in new ways. Wise leader developers seek to build into next-generation leaders the value of being lifelong learners.

Leaders must understand the times in which they live in order to create relevant strategies that reach their audiences.

The challenge for upcoming leaders is to develop the character necessary to be effective spiritual leaders while simultaneously understanding and wisely leading in light of theirtimes.Athoughtful self-assessment or simply asking friends, “Where can I grow?” can help a leader learn how well he or she is doing. Pursuing skills that develop and support spiritual gifts can be another focus. To follow that up, a personal development plan combined with a mentor or coach can help a person make real progress toward his or her goals. Staying on top of trends in the world and developing people skills help a leaderbring ideas and people together effectively.

The world will continue to change at an even faster pace; God remains the same. In developing next-generation leaders, we must faithfully build into their spiritual life and character, whilehelping foster the innovation and creativity thatthe future will demand.

This article first appeared in the Dec./Jan.2009 edition of Outcomes magazine.



File Downloads

This Article Makes Me Feel...

Number of Votes: 0

Published with Outcome magazine's permission.

Reprint Article? or Back list page