Friday, 10 April 2009

Newfrontiers Younger Leaders Conference Part 3



I have been going to various younger leaders type events since the age of about 13. My abiding memory is when I first kissed a girl, on an Icthus young leaders weekend!

Now however the title is no longer young, but younger, which signifies I am not yet older, but nor am I young any more!

I have heard plenty of stuff over the years via Soul Survivor, Youth for Christ and within newfrontiers and Vineyard encouraging younger people and younger leaders to push forward into their calling.

I have known people in their late teens be so full of vision and hope that goes beyond real opportunities that by their mid twenties they feel that they are discouraged and the youthful vigour starts to wane. I have seen this turn to cynicism, which is a tragedy.

In Jeremy’s talk he worked through the examples of Joseph in prison, Moses in slavery, Joshua in the wilderness, David being persecuted by Saul, Jesus before starting his public ministry and Paul in obscurity before starting his ministry.

From 13 to 40 years of background training, character development, knowledge gaining. I do feel sometimes people can be held back from developing but on the flip side I see people whose star rises so fast it goes way, way beyond what their character or grounding can survive and everything goes bang. There seem to be training opportunities in the desert, in prison or in the wilderness. David learned to shepherd with some sheep before he shepherded a nation.

It is a tough balance: releasing new leaders and yet ensuring people have the right level of grounding. I feel privileged to have worked within an eldership team since the age of 23, and after six years in support now as an elder for a year. I feel I have “served my time” as it where on the second row of the scrum and now I am taking up my place on the front row.

I am serving the vision of our team, and now have opportunity to influence that vision.

If I do go to plant a Church or be a lead elder somewhere else at any point I feel I will have been incredibly well served by having a fairly long period of my life mucking in and serving other people’s vision and biding my time. There is a fairly good biblical mandate of living in relative “obscurity” for a while, and allow God to do a little bit more in me and through me.

I have been just a project student, just a cell leader, just a cell overseer, just an administrator, and now I am just an elder. I want to always see it that way. Always in training for the bigger thing to come, and always giving 110% to whatever I am doing here and now.

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