Empowering Tomorrow's Church Leaders Today

Many of us worry about the church of tomorrow. The graying in our pews warns us we had better do something about it, but often we just don’t know what.

There exists a dearth of younger leaders – millennials in particular.

The church is not alone in this. A cursory online search of “empowering millennials for leadership” yielded research indicating most organizations currently place insufficient emphasis on developing millennial leaders.

Just 20% of organizations reported a major focus on millennial leader development over the next 24 months, instead focusing mainly on today’s senior leaders. Most organizations focus on developing current senior leaders, some focus on budding leaders, but few focus specifically on developing millennial leaders.

“A mistake,” says the person who conducted the research,[1] Laci Loew of the Brandon Hall Group.

The Millennial Leadership Study2 found that more than 91% of millennials aspire to be leaders. Almost half defined leadership as “empowering others to succeed” and 43% report desiring to be a leader in order to empower others. When asked what type of leader they desire to be, 63% said transformational.

Research finds that millennial leaders want and need:

  • Technology – “digital natives”, millennial leaders prefer learning and connecting at least partially through leadership training that includes technology.

  • Coaching or Mentoring - relational coaching that incorporates praise, provides support, and builds confidence, as well as experiential opportunities and feedback that enhance leadership development.

  • Collaboration - millennials enjoy a conversational approach to leading others. They enjoy collaborating about new ideas and teamwork. They respond to this leadership dynamic better than to a directive approach.

  • Transformation – change and transformation excites millennials and they feel comfortable with them.

The millennial generation has ideas for engaging their generation that some of us in older generations just do not. Facilitating their development and implementation of these ideas in a supportive coaching relationship is necessary for the future church.

I urge you to use the advanced relational and leadership skills of understanding generational differences and empowering others to help equip tomorrow's church leaders today!

What are your thoughts and experiences related to developing millennial leadership? I am eager to hear from you.

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[1]Laci Loew, Brandon Hall Group. September 30, 2015. Empowering Millenial Leaders. Retrieved May 29, 2017 from https://trainingmag.com/empowering-millennial-leaders

2 Workplace Trends. July 20, 2015. The Millennial Leadership Survey. Retrieved May 29, 2017 from https://workplacetrends.com/the-millennial-leadership-survey/

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