Where do future leaders come from? It is an easy question to answer — future leaders come from our churches.
As I think about developing leaders, I think of all kinds of experiences offered by California Southern Baptists to develop children today to take the reigns of leadership tomorrow. Opportunities I think about immediately include Vacation Bible School, camps for children and youth, and summer missions programs.
VBS is one of the best evangelism tools for reaching boys and girls for Christ. It also is a useful tool in outreach to families.
Leaders are not born as leaders, but learn and grow as they are encouraged and involved. When I was a pastor, I took a keen interest in the children and youth of my congregation. I made sure my youth went to summer camp at Jenness Park. Many times I went with them. If I didn’t invest as much of my life into them as I did their parents and other adults, there would be no one to lead when my generation was gone.
Let’s face it, children and youth will grow up and be the leaders of tomorrow. It is up to us to see they have the proper training and biblical grounding to change the culture for Christ.
Many of the children and youth at the church where I served as pastor are both church and community leaders today. They not only hold responsible jobs in their communities, but continue to serve and work in leading their respective congregations to reach the lost and make disciples where they are planted.
The future leaders of California Southern Baptist Convention are in your church today. They are preschoolers, children and youth who attend Vacation Bible School, go to summer camp, are involved in summer missions programs, etc. Today they may not look like an outstanding leader to the human eye, but God has already chosen them to guide and lead us. Let us pray and set the right example for the next generation of leaders as they study the Bible.
I encourage all of us to be a force of positive influence for God in the lives of children since we can rely on the words of the prophet Isaiah: “ ... and a little child shall lead them.”