Every organization rises or falls, based on the effectiveness, competence and character of the leaders. Leaders aren’t born, they are groomed, prepared, coached and developed by great leaders who understand that “success without a successor is failure.”
Great organizations are intentional about raising up the next generation of leaders, like stacking cords of wood for the winter months. When a leader in the organization retires, or leaves for another job, there is a line of potential and prepared candidates ready to fill the need.
Recently Eric Geiger wrote about the danger of “leapfrogging leadership”, where young leaders in fast growing organizations are asked to step into leadership roles where they have been unprepared and ill-equipped. It is like handing a young person a paint brush with the assignment to paint a bullet train as it speeds by.
Jesus spent three years preparing the disciples to lead the church as He anticipated His departure for heaven. His leadership style was intentional from the beginning, “follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” His leadership style was relational, He invited them to be “with” him, so they could see Him modeling servant leadership. He taught them that they would fail miserably unless they practiced incarnational ministry, allowing the life of Jesus to flow through their leadership, “apart from me you can do nothing.”
So it becomes a big decision in life, how am I preparing the next generation of leaders? If I’m not doing it, who is? Where are the churches that are sacrificially following Jesus’ model of equipping young leaders so they are well prepared, not being asked to leapfrog into a kettle that will harm the organization and themselves as well.
Noel Tichy wrote the book The Leadership Engine, a secular book on leadership succession in great businesses. Which begs the question, how can the church be a ** spiritual leadership engine,** preparing leaders on every level of maturity for the inevitable challenges of this declining spiritual/moral culture?