Every older leader should be investing in the next generation of younger leaders coming up. What exactly are younger leaders looking for in those that are leading, coaching and discipling them? Chuck Lawless has some very good insights for us. 

Originally posted by Chuck Lawless

I love young people. Their passion, faith, and courage often put me to shame. They teach me, even though I’m the professor. In the past, I’ve written other posts about their concerns.  As I’ve worked with this generation for almost twenty years, here’s my most current list of what young leaders want, listed in no particular order.

1.  Authenticity.  They’ve seen enough of the fake. They want to know adults who truly walk with God, who are Christlike in public and in private.

2.  Modeling. Their heroes are often physically distant, available more online than in person. Still, they want someone to walk beside them, to show them how to fight temptation, love others, raise children . . .  live life.

3.  Consistency.  Young leaders have little time for friends or mentors who are available only for a while. They’ve had too many other adults who’ve not always kept commitments, and they want consistency.

4.  Probing.  They not only are open to probing questions from others, but they actually welcome them. I’m sometimes surprised by how willing young leaders are to talk about their issues. I trust they’re that open because they really want to be godly.

5.  Depth.  They recognize shallow Christianity from a distance because it’s what they’ve most often seen. When they see strong, deep, biblical, Christian teaching and obedience, they gravitate in that direction. 

6.  Teamwork. Some of this interest resides in a growing commitment to elder-led congregations. Much of it, though, also comes from their honest recognition that they need guidance. They welcome a team that helps them make good decisions.

7.  Vulnerability. Young leaders want mentors and models who themselves are open and vulnerable. Knowing their heroes wrestle with life, too, challenges them to fight for holiness together. 

8.  Experience.  My generation often leapt into leadership without looking to others for help. Young leaders today, though, strongly desire to learn from others who’ve preceded them in the journey. 

9.  Impact. These leaders want to be hands-on, personally involved, heavily invested in their tasks. They believe they can in the power of God change the world, and they welcome the challenge.

10.  Balance. They’ve watched families fall apart, and they don’t want that to happen to them.  Instead, they want someone to show them how to balance work, family, church, etc.  

11.  Answers. Even when they strive to stand on the Word, they still want to know why they should take that stand.  Their world is asking them questions, and they want to know how to answer them. 

12.  Affirmation. Some of the strongest young leaders I know still want affirmation. Dig into their heart, and you’ll sometimes find a leader who just wants to be loved.