Courageous Leadership: Summit Breakout Session

What if God called you home to Heaven without warning, sooner than expected? Now, imagine you’re asked who can assume your ministry responsibilities. After all, you know best what those responsibilities are and who is prepared to perform them.

Will you say: “That’s a no-brainer! I’ve mentored several people. They know my heart and have worked alongside me. Any one of these people could seamlessly step in as interim leader; in fact, each one could be my successor because every one of them embraces the DNA of our ministry.”

Or, will you say: “Yikes! I’m the only person who can do my job; no one knows what to do because I haven’t prepared to pass the baton of leadership.”

If you’ve ever been a part of a relay team, you know that accurate passing baton is vital. We are all interim leaders. Whatever our role, our tenure begins and ends. Sooner or later, planned or not, our time in any role will end.

Job 14:5 (NIV) says, “A person’s days are determined; you (God) have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.”

Psalm 139:16 (NLT) reminds us that, “You (God) saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”

God plans for us are vast; they are beyond human understanding. We must live like today is our last. We must live with courageous intention. We must live an authentic, purpose-filled life.

Today, I want to encourage you to be a Courageous Leader.

1. Redefine the Win

Often, we define a win based on what we accomplish in our role.

Here’s a New Cognitive Shift: We need to redefine the win as how well we mentor our successors. We redefine the win by how well our successors work with the systems and team we have established, the values we’ve ingrained in the organization, and the opportunities we’ve given others to grow.

a. Develop a decade-leaping mindset (Years go by too quickly and then it’s time for change.)

- Be long-term, visionary thinkers.

- ASK: who can I start mentoring right now?

- ASK: who is a servant?

- Who has healthy habits in their lives?

- Who follows humbly?

- Who is consistent and dependable?

Key thought: The day we begin a new leadership assignment, is the right time to start thinking about the day we will leave it.

Questions to ask yourself and your team?

- How have we/I mentored our team members for improvement and growth?

- How well have we/I exposed them to tasks beyond their present assignment?

- Have I cross-trained my team members to do other things in the organization?

- What policies, systems, and structures need to be updated, refreshed, or eliminated?

- What difficult decisions should we make to set the next leader up for success?

- Am I managing my time well?

Teen Reach has provided governance tools and systems; they are the skeleton of the body, providing the structure upon which all parts depend on to build stability and cohesiveness. You don’t have to create the system; just train and teach others to follow.

2. Invest in Others

The Bible provides many examples of mentoring relationships:

- Moses and Joshua

- Elijah and Elisha

- Paul and Timothy

- Mordecai and Hadassah (Esther)

In 2 Timothy 2:2 (NLT), the Bible commands us to prepare others. “You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.”

In a relay race, speed doesn’t matter if runners drop the baton. We must train for the great hand off.

You might say, I am not comfortable mentoring others; I am still learning myself. Paradoxically, the best way to learn and continue to grow is to have a mentee alongside us, asking questions, challenging the status quo, and causing us to pay attention to what and why we are doing things. Investing in others pays dividends both now and in the future. We get others to share the load and responsibility of leadership.

3. Check your heart. Is resistance coming from within?

Our calling is to:

a. Advance the Kingdom.

b. Empower others to lead.

c. Multiply our gifts by leading the next generation.

Be encouraged by Ephesians 4:12a. “(Our) responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work.” It’s a compliment when other companies are court our team members because we’ve mentored them well.

Investing in growth and development attracts others to our team.

It’s been said that days are long, but years are short. One day we will find ourselves approaching the end of our leadership tenure. The way to extend our influence is to imitate Jesus’ example of leadership. He chose and appointed the twelve and sent them out. (Mark 3:14)

Christ’s earthly interim was only three years, but He mentored His disciples by being with and sending out. We must do the same to prepare the next generation to lead well tomorrow.


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