At Next In Line, we are committed to seeing the next generation of leaders trained in Christian leadership skills. We are partnering with churches, schools, colleges, parents, and of course, students to accomplish this. It’s a big task, and a never-ending one. But we’re here for the long term.
When we talk about training leaders, let me be clear: We are not only training church leaders. We are training any student with leadership ability, talent, or calling. We are convinced that what this world needs is a healthy dose of Christ-follower leaders at every level and position of leadership. Training church leaders is the forefront of that, but not the end-game. More Christians are called to leadership in secular organizations than in “Christian” ones, and we need to be paying just as much attention to their training as we are the people who will one day lead our churches. The leadership principles are the same, and to an extent the calling is the same: Serve others with the love of Christ. Easier said than done, but that’s why we start the training early.
Christians are to be the salt and light of the earth, and they can do that as leaders in every organization. In fact, as leaders in the secular world, we may be able to accomplish that better. This all goes back to the mission of God, and Jesus’ command to us in Matthew 28.
18 “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
God never intended us to be a people that sat around and waited for the world to come to us. We are supposed to “go”. Training leaders to lead and thrive in both church and secular environments assures a salt and light mentality. It also helps people to see that Christianity isn’t something that has walled itself up in its churches, but is rather a living, breathing, Christ-honoring way of life.
As we build our Student Leadership Teams, make sure that you aren’t looking for future church leaders only. You’ll probably have a very small leadership team, and you may miss the opportunity to make the difference in the life of a young leader whom God will call to do amazing things outside of the local church.