Raising next generation leaders is a lot like parenting.
Because leadership development is a process and not a one-time event, there are a lot of conversations, teachable moments and even correction that happen along the way.
I was speaking with Joseph Bonifacio, our Every Nation Campus Executive Director the other day on this exact topic. We were trying to assess our own leadership styles and the styles we’ve seen others employ.
There are those who are like policemen.
Policemen check if people are following the rules.
Policemen are quick to waive their badge to wield authority.
Policemen are swift in making judgments and giving penalties.
Don’t get me wrong. We need policemen. They maintain order and they bring a sense of security. They serve and protect.
However, when leading a church or an organization, leading as a father rather than a policeman is the better route.
A policeman leads with rules while a father is by relationship.
Both have a vision.
Both have a mission they want to accomplish.
Both have tasks.
Both have people they lead.
Both have people they are accountable to.
But one leads with rules and the other by relationship.
As Steve Murrell said in one of our Asian Pastors Equipping Conferences, “I know that Joey Bonifacio has said that discipleship is relationship. I am here to also say that leadership is relationship.” I couldn’t agree more.
As a result, I have to look at my own leadership and ask, “Am I raising sons or am I raising servants?”
Servants say, “We have to obey because Pastor Paolo is here watching.”
Servants say, “We need to do this because Paolo said.”
Servants say, “We are obliged to do this because that’s the policy.”
Policies should serve the people and not people serving the policies.
Sons have a different perspective.
Sons say, “I do this not because I have to but because I want to.”
Sons say, “It is my privilege as a son to serve in the house.”
Sons say, “I have responsibility and ownership because I am a son.”
A policeman will patrol, regulate, protect and enforce. They may end up having their objectives accomplished but in the end, will raise servants (obedient citizens) and never sons.
As a father, I want to raise sons who can think critically and lead in the future. Maybe even replace me and become way better than me.