After posting about the church losing young leaders, I started thinking about how negative my outlook was, mostly because I didn’t talk about ways the church is and can keep young leaders.
Churches today are having the hardest time in reaching and then keeping young leaders. Sure the reasons are almost endless, but the fact remains that churches need to be a better job of not only reaching young leaders, but keeping them as well.
- Give them a piece of the pie…and let them eat that piece. Many churches let young leaders run a key part of the church, few churches let them run with it without handcuffs on.
- Mentor down. What is mentoring down? Typically it is when an older and more mature person is meeting with a younger and less mature person in order to learn from them, not just to speak into the life of the younger person. Every church in the world is trying to figure out a way to “reach the next generation” and yet this idea of mentoring down is mostly unknown. It may just be why churches are failing at reaching the next generation (the statistics are scary). Churches aren’t reaching young people in large part because they aren’t doing enough to know them and learn FROM them.
- Let them be a part of the process. When I say a part of the process I don’t mean “let them run the youth ministry.” That would be a part of the process of a youth ministry, not the church at large. Let them be a part of the process by valuing their input into the process in a relational way.
- Provide wisdom and support. If you’re a pastor and you have young leaders around you at your church it is a safe bet they are looking to you to gain wisdom and insight into being a pastor for the long term. You have that wisdom and you can offer that support. Don’t shy away from that chance or it will be taken as a “you don’t care” type of thing.
(Photo: Will Gortoa)