In South Africa there are two sightseeing locations that we enjoy taking people to, Cape Agulhas and the Cape of Good Hope. Both are beautiful and each site advertises that it’s “where the two oceans meet,” referring to the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. Although they use differing explanations to convince the traveler how their location is where the oceans actually meet, truthfully, there is no “line” where the waters come together. Officially, Cape Agulhas, the most southern tip of Africa, is the where we like to think the waters converge.So I ask you, where do the generations of leaders meet and where does the convergence of leadership from one generation to another occur? Is there a line, an official place and time where this happens, like when Moses stepped down and Joshua stepped up? Do degrees, apprenticeships or official internships prepare a younger person to take the helm? Or is there a place and are there times where the gradual blending of lives, leadership skills, and the sharing of lessons learned bleeds from one to the other allowing authentic mentoring to occur, preparing the next generation to lead?
We’d like to think that the issue is not where or the how leadership is transferred to the next generation, but whether we are intentionally making sure that it occurs. Mentoring doesn’t “just happen” – it has to be sought, given and received. That’s why this past week Nancy and I left the shores where the two oceans meet to join the team at the 2018 Next Generation Leaders Conference (NGLC) in Philadelphia. It was there that we spent the week discussing the importance of Prayer and the Psalms in the life of a leader. In addition to Tom speaking at one of the sessions, within the larger group (80+ participants) we personally mentored the most amazing young leaders and had the privilege of spending time learning, sharing and praying together. Our desire was to pour into their lives, but in truth, we left refreshed and filled by the teaching, as well as the wisdom and passion we saw in these younger leaders seeking to influence others within their communities.
The conference participants came from 25 countries and represented 45 different organizations. For us, the NGLC was a little like the ocean currents bringing each of us from the ends of the earth, blending us together, and then sending us back out, ready, challenged, and rejuvenated to lead in the places where we serve. It was a highly influential week for all of us.
We would like to those thank those who contributed and made our attendance, as well as the attendees we sponsored, possible. Yours was an investment, not only in our lives, but in the future ministry of many leaders who are now dispersed by Jesus to continue His mission to make disciples and reach the nations.