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Five Ways to Invest in the Next Generation of Leaders

Practical tips for raising up more women in ministry

2. Recruit to vision, not to need.

Would you rather help set up chairs, or be part of creating an environment for genuine and authentic community where lives are changed? If we’re in event or ministry planning mode, we often see a list of tasks that need to be done. Then we go about trying to make sure all the tasks are completed. Sure, someone needs to set up chairs, but no one is inspired by that task! Instead, cast vision for how each task helps to accomplish the vision. Specifically, learn to cast vision for how your ministry changes lives.

I work with small groups, and I absolutely believe that small groups are the life of the church. If our small groups aren’t healthy, our church isn’t healthy. Whenever I meet someone who I think could be a potential volunteer, I start sharing my heart for small groups. If I see her get excited about the vision of healthy small groups, then I start sharing a little bit more about what our small-group ministry team does and ask if she’d consider being part of how we’re changing lives through small groups. Always lead with vision, not needs. Once someone buys into your vision, she’ll be willing to meet any and every need that comes up. Show her the impact her life can have if she joins your team, and you’ll find a loyal team member who will stick with you in the trenches.

3. See her as an individual and develop her gifts.

People have a deep desire to be known individually—their unique experiences, gifts, and passions. As you spend time with the next generation of women leaders, call out what makes them unique and help them identify and develop their sweet spot. Encourage their strengths and affirm when you see them excelling in their gifts. When possible, provide roles to help them develop their strengths.

As I get to know the college women in my new small group, I can’t wait to get a fuller picture of what makes each girl unique, encouraging each one in her strengths. One young woman has spunk and grit, and she will make a fierce leader one day. Another has wisdom beyond her years, and one day she will help an organization navigate wisely through a hard season. Yet another has a free spirit, and one day she’ll remind the church to shake off our tired routines and fall in love with Jesus in a fresh new way. Each young woman is made individually and by God for a unique impact in the world. I want to help each one move closer to her unique gifts and calling and watch her come alive.

March08, 2017 at 8:00 AM

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