Why you need to make room at the top
October 17, 2013
Larry Osborne writes:
I’ve made it a personal priority to make sure that our young eagles have a place at our leadership table. I see it as my role to enhance their influence within our church, making sure that they are supported, protected, and listened to.
But I have to admit, it’s not always appreciated, especially by middle-aged eagles who think that tenure should be the primary determiner of influence.
I understand their reluctance. Young eagles can make a mess in the cage. They’re impatient. They lack the wisdom that comes with experience. In short, they make the same dumb mistakes that the old eagles made when they first started out.
BUT THAT’S NOT THE REAL REASON THAT MOST CHURCHES AND LEADERSHIP TEAMS PUSH YOUNG EAGLES OUT OF THE NEST.
The real reason is that leadership is a zero sum game. One person’s emerging influence is always another person’s waning influence. And that makes making room for the young eagles a hard sell, especially to those who already have a place at the table.
Again, I understand. Like most leaders, I love the idea
of servant leadership and putting others first – as long as no one actually cuts in front of me or starts treating me like I’m a servant.
But it has to be done or we’ll fall victim to the predictable twenty year death cycle when most churches stop growing, evangelizing, and making a mark.
When a church grows old, gray, and culturally out of touch – far more interested in protecting the past than creating the future – and starts to wonder, “What happened to all the young people and families that used to hang around here?” it’s a sign that the young eagles have been shut out for a long time.
Read more from Larry here at i4j.org