Friday, April 2, 2010


What kind of leaders will the future require?

Is that a crazy question to ask? Do not all ages, times and seasons require the same kind of leaders? Yes and no. There is a foundational package of essentials that every leader needs to carry. However, each new generation requires a form of leadership expression that is appropriate and true to that day. Joshua was not a Moses. The disciples were not Jesus. Timothy was not a Paul. Yet the world has shaken under the weight of the leadership of even just these few men.

In the book "Colossians Remix" the authors expressed some of the ingredients that are defining the emerging generation.

From “Colossians Remixed” by Brian Walsh and Sylvia Keesmaat

A Few of the Characteristics of Postmodernity

  • There is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student entering the university believes or says that he believes, that truth is relative pg 17 [from Allan Bloom pg 25]
  • Postmodern allergic reaction to absolutism pg 17
  • Precariousness, helplessness, dislocation, dispossession, nihilism and cultural disquiet-that is the way to read the times pg 19
  • The first thing that we need to say about post-modern culture is that it is a culture of betrayal. This is at the very heart of our cultural crisis and is the emotional source for a widespread hermeneutic of suspicion… betrayal can breed either rage or numbness… Pg 22
  • Smashing Pumpkins: “we are all dead yeah we’re all dead / inside the future of a shattered past” Virgin Records 1995
  • … not the stories of emancipation and progress after all but the stories of enslavement, oppression and violence pg 23
So, these selected pictures of the generation that is emerging from the shadows, shows a very different world to that that we boomers and busters were born into.

Here are a few "just thinking" suggestions of the kinds of leaders needed:
  1. A deeply passionate, yet honest, raw and real love for Jesus,
  2. Lovers of the scriptures with a continuous quest for knowing with educational humility,
  3. A sane and deep hunger for an authentic God encounter element to the faith journey-more than simply knowledge,
  4. A very sensitive application of our Jesus truth with great understanding to the journey of others yet with no compromise,
  5. Our faith cannot revert to a pounding call to a higher morality; true 'grace in all its forms'-the gospel-pure and simple,
  6. Gutsy, compelling community is to reflect the legitimacy of the leadership,
  7. The leader must validate the journey of others... everyone's story counts,
  8. Team is a big battle cry of a generation that is intrinsically anti-church celebrity,
  9. The emerging leader is clearly seen as one who feels deeply about the plight of the poor, disenfranchised... their faith cannot only be expressed around meetings,
  10. This kind of leadership is to be patient to establish credibility as there is not an automatic respect for authority especially not positional titles. Followership will have to be earned,
  11. Can the preparation of these leaders be more Jesus style, around dining room tables and less around classroom desks?
  12. Leadership of the future will need to blow a clear trumpet of vision and purpose. Numbness and boredom has produced a very passive generation-Leaders are going to need to be key finders to open the door of faith and hope to a limping generation...
More to say, but enough for now... what do you think?


  1. Maybe some points to add:

    Leaders need to have the same intensity of love for people that Jesus had and that He was willing to die for - that love must be a fire within us!

    Leaders will need to be flexible enough to keep redefining/re-inventing themselves dependent on the context (of course, without compromising the Gospel) - what works in a Sunday meeting may not work in a home group; what works in the US won't work in the UK.

  2. Another point about Team:-
    Leaders in this age need to be "connectors" - connecting people to God, to each other, teams to teams, movements to movements, needs to ministries, visions to missions.

  3. "Jesus knew that the Father had put him in complete charge of everything ... So he got up from the supper table...and began to wash the feet of the disciples..." Jn 13:3-5,MSG-In this one act, Jesus teaches us that STRONG LEADERS leverage their power to SERVE OTHERS; WEAK LEADERS leverage their power to SERVE THEMSELVE...

  4. Leaders need to be wholehearted lovers of Jesus. Because this generation's heart aches to be wholeheartedly in love with something or someone.