Prepared for Influence

Virtues of Development


Our churches are full of individuals with the potential for great influence. Leadership is needed for the workplace, politics, and even in the family. How can pastors identify and cultivate potential leaders within their congregation? Even more, what can they do to prepare young leaders for whatever roles God calls them to? Reflecting on his wide-ranging research, Michael Lindsay joins Mark Mellinger to discuss his findings regarding the marks of effective leaders and how pastors can participate in their development today.

Mark Mellinger is the Indiana Public Affairs Director for Bott Radio Network and talk show host for 1090 Today, a radio program that showcases local ministries and encourages Christian living. Michael Lindsay serves as the President of Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts. 


Michael noted that the lives of influential leaders look no different from their peers until their twenties. But in the decades between ages 20 and 40, potential leaders begin to stand out. Did Michael's findings change anything about the way in which you look for leaders among your congregation? If so, how? If not, why not?
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Michael mentioned that an older individual taking an invested interest in a developing leader's life tends to sharpen their trajectory. To what degree do you engage personally with those you've identified as having potential for future influence? How do you work to develop them? Are there area where you could improve? If so, what are they and how would you improve them?
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When it comes to the process of developing new leaders, Michael said it is crucial to pair seasoned leaders with young individuals to help them grow. How does your church encourage such mentor relationships? Who are some seasoned leaders in your congregation? What could you do to better facilitate mentor relationships aimed at developing the young leaders among your people?
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What are some of the qualities you consider indispensable for an influential public figure? What makes them so important? How do you work to instill them into the leaders God has placed in your care?
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In particular, Michael noted the importance of practicing sabbath, especially for its role in restraining ungodly ambition. How have you experienced the benefit of taking a regular sabbath break? What are some of the ways you encourage your congregation to practice it? How could you more visibly model the need for sabbath, especially for the potential leaders in your church?
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We don't always know who God will call to influence throughout the world. He uses unexpected circumstances and often unassuming individuals to step into such roles. Either way, the church has a responsibility to develop leaders in ways that prepare them for godly stewardship of their influence. Who has God placed in your midst? Ask Him to help you identify young leaders in your congregation and work to instill in them qualities of integrity. Teach them what it means to lead in submission to Christ. 


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