In my one of my first radio broadcasts in 2013, I talked about the Power of Generational Leadership.  I define Generational Leadership as the intentional integration of the past, present and future for mission of the eternal. GL is leading through intergenerational teams.  A Generational Leader allows others to lead from their strengths rather than compensate for their weaknesses. A GL helps others do their best rather then leaving them on their own to “earn their stripes.”  2 Corinthians 10:7-18 outlines six marks of a true Generational Leader.

Mark #1: A Generational Leadership is not exclusive (v.7)

Biblical leaders know that their mission is to make other leaders and not keep “power” for themselves.  They give away power, sacrifice rights, and serve others. That’s easy to say and hard to live out because we live in a time when a lot of pastors build churches and execute vision based on their absolute authority as the “head” of the church.

Mark #2:  Generational Leadership builds up (v.8)

Martin Luther King, Jr  was spot-on when he said, “I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be.”.  A true generational leader will always share the credit, give away the applause, and hold others above himself/herself.

Mark #3: Generational Leadership is NOT validated through“personal” accomplishment (v.10)

A leader does not try to prove their place by showing others their resume. Simply put, just because you have a long list of accomplishments, does not mean that you are a good leader; pleasing to the Lord.

Mark #4:  Generational Leadership is validated through “people” accomplishment (v.13)

The corollary to Mark #4 is simply this; leaders are established through the fruit of the lives of those they lead.  If the people in your church have a penchant for arrogance; that is your legacy.  If your congregation is known for its love and service, that is your resume.

Mark #5:  Generational Leadership rejoices in the success of others (v.15)

Helping others achieve success will never diminish you as a leader.  Leadership is not a competition. Leadership is not about rising above the crowd, but helping the crowd to rise above.

Mark #6:  Generational Leadership rests in the authority that comes from God alone (v.18)

Authority is something only God can possess and leaders can express.  I have known way to many men who lead by intimidation; who use their title as a hammer to pound others into submission. And if your goal is to make your vision a reality, that approach works, but it is not the right use of authority and it is not the mark of a Generational Leader.

Remember, Generational leadership is the intentional integration of the past, present and future for mission of the eternal. GL can only be accomplished when everyone understands that in the church family, every follower of Jesus is a member, every member is a minister and every minister is a leader.

Read more articles like this on my regular Column @ ChurchPlanting.Com

Dr. J.R. Miller is a Professor of Applied Theology and Leadership & Dean of Online Learning at Southern California Seminary. Outside work, he is a church planter. Dr. Miller has a diverse educational background and authored multiple books on church history, biblical theology, and Leadership. Joe and his wife Suzanne enjoy the sun and surf with their 3 sons in San Diego, CA.

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