The second chapter takes a look at legacy and building churches that raise up the next generation of leaders. Mike’s case is simple: in order to fulfil the commission God has given us we need to multiply everything but not as business with franchises but as a family that grows and spreads.
The majority of the chapter is taken up with personal stories and examples from others of how men and women are being trained, equipped and encouraged in their calling & gifting, in the context of warm & deep relationship.
I have committed myself to invest in the lives of men and women who will run this race after me. This is not so bound by the geography of where they live but determined by the relationships we have together. Relational mission stretches as far as the relationships do. No further and no less. (p.56)
I’ve been an elder and church leader for the last 15 years but only now do I feel that I’m getting the hang of mentoring the next generation. In part, this is because I was only 25 when I started out – what did I know about doing that?
As an aside I think this is one of the reasons why elders (I believe) have a spiritual parenting angle to their service and why elders are not just men who would be good on a the board but men who are good fathers. I also think there is a clue in the name – an elder should have the maturity that comes through experience and years.
I’ve certainly benefitted and appreciated the way in which more experienced leaders have sought to take me under their wing, give me their time and help me grow and develop. I need that still. As scope and horizons broaden I’m always looking to more experienced voices to help me navigate unfamiliar territory. It helps in cutting out the floundering.
As I get older, experience both gives me the confidence to see what God has taught me and how this can help others. I’m also old enough now to no longer be the ‘next’ generation however hard I try to fool myself. However thinking about the next generation can be a challenge – the future can too often be obscured by the incessant demands of the present. Yet the importance of the task is self-evident because the mission continues.