Thursday, July 2, 2009

Inexperience in Leadership

Mark Batterson on the upside of inexperience in leadership:
"You're too young and inexperienced." I Samuel 17:33.
That is what Saul said to David when he wanted to challenge Goliath. And it was true, IF David had tried to engage Goliath in a conventional sword fight. But David changed the rules. He didn't approach Goliath as a warrior. He approached him as a shepherd. He introduced an unconventional method of warfare: the slingshot. That long-range weapon gave David a unique advantage over his more experienced opponent. In a sense, he overcame his weaknesses by playing to his strengths.
Can I make an observation? Inexperience is both a liability and an asset. And the upside of inexperience is this: you don't know what can't be done. So you're not afraid of doing old things in new ways. You take risks. You make mistakes. You experiment with new methodologies.
As a young leader in the church, I've definitely had my share of people tell me the same thing Saul told David. You have to wonder how the story would have gone if David had chosen to listen to Saul instead of God.

I love being part of a church that values young leadership, that is willing to listen to unconventional ideas instead of brushing the emerging generation aside. I love learning from fellow pastors who have more years of pastoral experience than I've been alive, but I'm honored when they want to learn from me too. I love having a junior high staff filled with both college students and parents of teens, seeing the strengths both bring to the table.

Christian leaders all have the same Holy Spirit, regardless of age or experience. Let's learn and live out the truth of that statement.

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