In June, Dr. Chuck Lawless wrote an article on ThomRainer.com titled 10 Things Young Church Leaders Need to Hear from Us. Previously he blogged about 10 Things We Need to Hear from Young Church Leaders, and on June 18 I wrote a follow-up article on this list in regards to young women leaders.
Today’s post takes the perspective to the other side (young leaders hearing from us), so I thought we should once again take a look at this list in light of young women’s leaders. So read Dr. Lawless’ article first then come back to this one.
1. We were young once, too.
It might be hard for young women to believe we more seasoned leaders really were their age at one time. I remember feeling that way myself about older women! We remember what it’s like to think we are the first to have an idea or get excited about something. We have also experienced that zeal paired with inexperience. We want to help, not hinder younger women as they pursue their dreams with excitement, but we also want to guide wisely from our own years of experience.
2. We grieve the state of the North American church just like you do.
Today we sometimes feel like the voice of truth the church has had is lost in the maze of tolerance, non-Christian influences throughout our culture, morality within and outside the church looking similar. Our desire is for the truth to be shared with all people in a loving way that draws them to Christ.
3. Many of us must admit we were not discipled well.
I was not discipled when I became a believer in my pre-teen years. We were led to Christ, then often left at the cross thinking that was all we needed to do. Not until my early 20s was I ever challenged to spend time daily in the Word, in prayer, and listening for God’s direction. Only then did I realize God had a specific plan for my life. I’m still learning to go deeper in Christ.
4. We need each other.
I love these two Scriptures Dr. Lawless mentions: 2 Timothy 2 and Titus 2, especially verses 3-5. Without the younger women we would not be able to follow this mandate. And mentoring is mutual. We learn from each other. I need young women in my life who help me understand their generation as well as how to keep up with technology! And many other things as well.
5. Education can increase your knowledge, but life experience can increase your wisdom.
Without experience I would have never led women in my church or through a denominational office. It was experience that was needed most because at the time, there was no higher education specifically for women’s ministry. There is much offered today to equip you as leaders, but you also need experience in the ministry of the church to truly understand how to combine both experience and education.
6. Our opposition to change is not always opposition to you.
Many of us just want one thing to stay the same in our lives and our world. And not much is static, nor should be. But there are a few things worth continuing to connect with. If it’s not a hindrance, consider doing something that’s been done a long time. The older we are, the less we have had to change quickly in the past. Today’s rapid changes can be daunting to some in the older generation (including me at times!).
7. We want you to be effective and successful leaders.
Most of the women’s leaders I know strongly desire to raise up young leaders and walk with them into ministry. They also want to hear their ideas and support those. We want to offer wise advice, but be patient as we navigate uncharted waters of leadership with you.
8. Godly obedience does not get easier.
I remember thinking over the years, when this season passes I will be able to really take a slow look at leading and serving and see what I am to do. But over time, it has gotten even busier with each season. Every day we must continue to seek God’s direction and desires for our day, our families, our leadership, and our ministries. We do not have “it down” so that it’s a breeze to walk out our daily lives with Him.
9. Decide today to end well.
We are all so vulnerable to the enemy’s attacks and the consequences of our own poor judgment. No matter how young you are, it ‘s not about the sprint, it’s about the lifelong race seen in Hebrews 12:1-2. Choose today to finish well, then walk daily with Christ, saturating your mind in His word, memorizing it so it’s in your heart, and asking Him daily how to apply it. (That’s encouragement is for me too. Something I must strive to do daily.)
10. We love you and pray for you.
We really do. Yes, we really do. And we are so excited about the future of young women in leadership. Stay close to Christ and He will be able to use you in ways you’d never imagine.
Can you add to this list? What else would you want young leaders to know?