I enjoy reading about and studying leadership. I had to do a lot of it, as my DMin concentration was Pastoral Leadership. There are many principles that can be learned by looking at the great leaders in the Bible. Much can be gleaned from the plethora of books that have been published on the topic. There is also a lot that can be learned by simply sitting back and observing. As a younger pastor (34), I am always intrigued by situations where young leaders have entered a position that many thought them too young for, but then thrived in that position.
There are plenty of examples of such leaders. In fact, there are an increasing number of examples. Many growing and thriving churches are pastored by younger pastors. Here are a few examples of either younger leaders who are thriving in a position when many may have thought them too young or leaders who started in their ministries when they were younger and have seen God bless. Some of these are well-known; others are not.
- Albert Mohler- He became president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary at the age of 34.
- David Platt- He become President of the International Mission Board at age 34 after pastoring a church of thousands.
- Mark Dever- He became the Pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church at age 34.
- Jason Meyer- He was in his 30s when he followed John Piper at Bethlehem Baptist Church.
- Trevin Wax- He is Managing Editor of the Gospel Project and is in his low 30s.
- Mike Frazier (My Former Pastor)- He took over the Canton Baptist Temple with a membership near 2,000 while in his 30s.
- Steve Euler (Pastor Friend)- He serves at Grace Baptist Church, and has seen it grow from a handful of people to several hundred, including the establishment of a Christian school. He started while in his 30s.
- Darwin Blandon (Pastor Friend)- Planted Iglesia Bautista de Chattanooga while in his 20s. It is perhaps the largest Baptist spanish ministry in Chattanooga, TN.
- David Lemming (Pastor Friend)- Took over Lewis Memorial Baptist Church while in his 20s. They have since built new buildings and run around 1,000.
Certainly there are many others, but these are a few off the top of my head.
Let me pause and say what I am not saying.
- I am not saying that a younger pastor/leader has to be successful in a large ministry for his work to matter. God calls us to faithfulness wherever we are.
- I am not saying that small ministries are not important. That is certainly not the case.
- I am not saying that we should compare ourselves to others.
- I am not saying that God has gifted us all in the same way. We all have different talents and abilities.
What I am saying is that perhaps there is something that can be learned by looking at the examples of those who have thrived when many thought they were too young to do so. What did they all have in common? Why did they thrive when others have not? These 5 reasons are based solely on my observation, not on formal research.
1- They prepared themselves as much as possible.
Many of these individuals did all they could to see that they were trained both formally, through education, and/or casually, through mentorship.
2- They had developed a well-rounded group of wise advisors/friends.
Many of these people have other pastors, professors, counselors, business men, and missionaries whom they can call at any time for input and advice.
3- The ministry into which they were stepping provided much support and godly accountability.
Most of these people were not lone-rangers looking to run the show alone. They had a group of people around them inside their new ministry who encouraged them, promoted them, believed in them, supported them, helped them, prayed for them, and served as their counselors and partners in ministry.
4- They knew what needed to be done and were not deterred.
These people had a plan and they stuck to it. They were not sidetracked.
5- They did not let their age become a setback.
They stayed faithful and believed that if God had called them to their current place of ministry, then He would enable them to serve Him well there, regardless of their age.
These are just a few personal observations that I believe can benefit anyone, regardless of age or size of ministry. It is also a reminder that age is not the determining factor in whom God can use or where God can use them. Young or old, God has a plan and a purpose for our lives. Let’s stay faithful to Him wherever He has placed us, being sure to learn from the lessons mentioned above.
Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.