Young leaders are dependent on experienced leaders to create an environment where they can thrive and grow. This post is designed to help you think through three gifts you can give to the young leaders in your church.

 Opportunity

Early opportunities increase capacity in a young leader. George Washington was made commander of the entire Virginian Army at age 23 — a large command for a such a young man. But without that early exposure to the fires of leadership, perhaps he would not have been capable to later lead the entire American army against the British.

Give a young leader real responsibility. Bring them in the room, pass them the ball, give them the keys. Without opportunity, potential is wasted. If your church builds a reputation for providing real opportunities, young leaders will flock to you.

Belief

Young leaders often lack the confidence that comes with experience. As a more mature leader, you can help them solve this with genuine belief. Young leaders attempt more, dream bigger and work harder when they lead in the glow of an older leader’s belief. For belief to be a gift, it must be expressed and it must be genuine (they will quickly identify hollow, forced encouragement). 

Feedback

We often avoid giving young leaders constructive feedback because we do not want to discourage them. However in the context of belief young leaders crave real feedback. Feedback can be either positive or negative but, to be a gift, it must be insightful and specific.

When you give feedback to a young leader, you allow them to share in the benefit of your experience. Mature leadership can shed light on undiscovered strengths and weakness in a young leader.

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