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7 Vital Practices for Young Leaders

young leaders

Full disclosure, this post is helpful for all of us who lead, but I’m writing today with young leaders in mind.

Looking back at decades of local church ministry, all seven of these practices are essential and will always add value to your life and ministry.

Most of the practices are easy to comprehend, and you so might be tempted to read the main points and skip the content; that’s a mistake.

It’s not about this post; you can probably find similar content elsewhere; the mistake is about taking shortcuts while trying to grow as a leader. That never works.

Shortcuts always short-circuit your growth as a leader and, therefore, shortchange your leadership effectiveness.

It’s not a good idea to cut corners.

Dig in. Take time to think and process. For example, you may listen to a speaker one day and think, “Yup, I know this stuff.” OK, that’s good, but:

  • At what level?
  • With how many people?
  • Processing what degree of change?
  • Under how much pressure?
  • At what pace?

You get the idea, and we haven’t even mentioned your family’s priority.

And in all this…

The key to your growth is consistency.

Not flash, not quick success, not a bump to a bigger church, but the consistency that delivers long-term productivity and deep abiding joy.

Productivity (fruit) and joy… I promise you want both of these simultaneously for the journey of ministry leadership.

7 Vital Practices

1. Being Your True Self

I’ve been blessed by incredible coaching and mentoring, but my fears, insecurities, and tendency toward performance as a young leader reduced my ability to become and be myself. And, of course, that slowed my growth as a leader for many of those early years.

I could work harder, and I did, and while working smart and hard are always good companions, over-working and performance crowd out room for authenticity and margin to learn and grow. Under pressure, this can undermine your character.

Always remember that your character is more important than your performance.

Discovering the person God made you to be and permitting yourself to be that person allows you to become the leader God designed you to be. That process starts with self-awareness.

2. Growing in the Right Environment

You are always wise to value the right environment over the perfect position.

Your growth as a person, a Christian, and a leader is about being in the right environment around the right people.