If you are a leader who recognizes they aren’t as young as they used to be, yet hope to invest in Christ’s kingdom more than ever, this post is for you. Here are 5 Focuses For Aging Leaders…
1) Focus on going and growing. Sure, you’ve been around a little more than most, but you haven’t seen it all, let alone learned or experienced it. Dig even deeper into God’s Word. Practice prayer as never before. Read the latest stuff and refresh yourself on the classics. Go to conferences. Audit a class. Stay curious. Take some risks. Ask more questions. Whatever you do, never stop going and growing. You’ve got some kingdom adventure left in you yet!
2) Focus on keeping up. The message you preach is timeless, how you communicate it isn’t. Each generation learns, leads, gathers and grows in a slightly or even significantly different way than the previous. Ignore this and, while your message may remain constant, your methods may cause some of that message to get “lost in translation.” Keep up, not to be “in” but, rather, informed as to how the emerging generations develop their world view. No, don’t try to be something or someone you aren’t. Do be mindful of how people are processing the eternally lifesaving message you are communicating. Need some place to start? Check out Relevant Magazine for some challenging perspectives.
3) Focus on encouraging others. You aren’t the only leader a little unsure about who they are or how much they are contributing. Gather with others who share the same stage in life with you and process it together. Pour your hearts out and laugh your heads off. Get down in the dumps and lift each other up. Don’t isolate. The reclusive “sage” is more the fool if they keep themselves and all God has graciously given to themselves. Find some friends, young or old, and encourage, encourage, encourage!
4) Focus on passing it up. The realities of aging demand you become selective. Anything new you say “YES” to will mean a qualitative and quantitative “NO” to something you are already investing in. Learn to say “NO” to more so that the things, or more importantly, the people you say “YES” to get the very best of your investment.
5) Focus on passing it on. What have you learned (the hard way!)? How can your experiences serve to encourage and equip those coming behind you? It’s past time to pass it on. Whether one on one or with a group, purpose to share what God has done in and through you and your ministry… the good, the bad and the ugly (especially the ugly). Paul challenged Timothy with this concept. He said, “You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” (2 Timothy 2:1-2)
You are meant to count more than ever for Christ and His kingdom! Embrace each stage of the journey in life and leadership. Focus on how you can invest more than ever in bringing glory to God and the good of others.