10 Lessons on Investing in the Next Generation of Christian Leaders

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The next generation of leadership is right inside your church. Are you investing in them right now?

Fellowship Bible Church has a Sunday evening ministry it calls Greenhouse. This ministry was created by our Pastor of Worship and Arts, Tim Beard. Greenhouse places special emphasis on developing leaders and ministry to “Go And Grow.”

This ministry provides the perfect incubator for the next generation of Christian leaders to improve their platform skills, work on their craft, develop their gifts, make mistakes and allow God to grow their ministry before launching them to their next assignment, hopefully a much larger platform or church plant.

Tim affectionately refers to the incredibly talented worship band and vocalists as “The Minions.” These college-age artists have embraced this term as has our entire church. Tonight, The Minions recorded their first live worship cd. 

As I experienced the worship set and spoke with Tim afterwards, I gleaned 10 Lessons on Investing in the Next Generation of Christian Leaders. I am glad to share them with you.

  • The Most Important Thing in Investing in the Next Generation of Christian Leaders is to Point Them to God—Tim opened the evening by telling all in attendance that this was not about a cd, but rather to place our focus on God.
  • Investing in the Next Generation of Christian Leaders Takes Intentionality—Next generation ministry must be a primary focus. Tim has dedicated the majority of his last year of ministry to developing Greenhouse and The Minions.
  • To Invest in the Next Generation of Christian Leaders, You Must Be in it for the Long Haul—Young Christian leaders are developed in crock pots, not microwaves. They also have a deep desire for authentic, long-lasting relationships.
  • Allow for Mistakes When Investing in the Next Generation of Christian Leaders—Young Christian leaders make plenty of mistakes. I certainly did (and still do). It takes people like Tim, who stay with them through the good and bad, to one day proudly watch God do great things through their lives.
  • Teach the Next Generation of Christian Leaders About Structure and Orderliness—Between songs, the musicians would all tune their instruments. Tim said, “God likes things in tune.” That statement is true with our lives as well.
  • Investing in the Next Generation of Christian Leaders Takes a Team—It takes a churchwide commitment to serving the next generation. Tim is also helped by a number of talented people, including Dennis and Verna Law.
  • Investing in the Next Generation of Christian Leaders Requires You to Help Make Their Dreams Come True—I have been moved over the last year watching Tim create multiple opportunities for The Minions to meet other artists and perform.
  • Investing in the Next Generation of Christian Leaders Requires Financial Investment—It was announced that this Wednesday evening, one of the young ladies will be doing a benefit concert to help pay for her college. The entire team of Minions and others are donating their time and efforts to help her put on this fundraiser. They are attached to her heart.
  • Investing in the Next Generation of Christian Leaders Requires Hard Work—Tim and The Minions have put in countless hours to be able to minister with the excellence they do.
  • Investing in the Next Generation of Christian Leaders Requires You One Day Giving Up Your Spot—Tim said, “Our staff is always trying to replace themselves.” For all of us in Christian leadership, there will come a day that we must step aside and allow the next generation to take the baton. Have you prepared for that day?

When I read this list of 10 Lessons on Investing in the Next Generation of Christian Leaders, few people do it as well as Tim Beard.  

Thank you Tim. Oh yeah, there is a young girl in high school named Anna who might make a good Minion one day! I’m just saying …

What other lessons have you learned on investing in the next generation of Christian leaders?  

Brian Dodd Brian Dodd is a church stewardship & leadership consultant. See www.briandoddonleadership.com for additional insights.

More from Brian Dodd or visit Brian at http://briandoddonleadership.com

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  • Ian Wallin

    I would love to be a part of something like this. I’m no musician by any standard, but I think a incubator for people passionate to serve in the church would greatly benefit from this environment. You alluded to a crock pot versus a microwave; how long does the “greenhouse” program run?

  • Joe Bloggs

    You’ve missed the most important one of the lot……………. DISCERNING THE CALL….. Is it just me, or are churches so desperate for “leaders” that they’ll anoint anyone who wants it, whether or not they’re CALLED to it? Testing the call is the critical first step in raising up anyone. The church should be prepared to say no where the Lord is not calling them to certain things.