Do you ever wish you could go back and give advice to your younger self?
Imagine the problems you could have avoided, the pain you could have lived without.
Then again, you wouldn’t be who you are today without the mistakes you’ve made. As Heath Ledger would say, “It’s all part of the plan.”
While you may not be able to change what you’ve done, you can offer advice to the next generation as you mentor, disciple and release them to do greater things.
I love working with young people – the all-or-nothing attitude, the curiosity for deeper learning, and the relentless creativity. I know I won’t always have the same young people with me in ministry. They’ll move on.
What do I want them to catch before they leave for college? Before they move on?
I took some inventory of my life’s journey and settled on these 10 tips that I’d pass along:
1. Work Hard
Too many young people are waiting on God for direction when they should just prayerfully go make something happen.
2. Be A Relentless Learner
Learning doesn’t necessarily mean enrolling in a university and taking classes. It’s a way of life. Take the initiative to learn.
Don’t wait for someone to teach you. Seize it. Listen to music, read books, observe other leaders, and ask questions. Be relentless.
3. Go Deep With God
Don’t get too hung up on the practical. It’s important, but not primary. Go deep with Jesus.
Invest your best efforts and energy in your personal walk with the Master. This is essential not only for worship leaders, but in any position of spiritual leadership.
4. Empower Others
Focus more on raising others up than promoting your own name. True success lies not in what you accomplish but in what you accomplish with and through others.
Make others great. Pour yourself into them.
5. Learn To Love Theology
Theology often takes a backseat to the practical. We divorce deep thinking from practical living.
If it wasn’t for my study of theology I wouldn’t be half the worship leader I am today.
I’m not talking about a purely mental, religious observance of truth but a passion-soaked, worshipful response to God’s Word and who He has revealed Himself to be.
6. Don’t Depend On College
If you go to college, great. But don’t over-rely on your education.
More important than going to school is being a hard worker, taking initiative, and being a lifelong learner. Having a degree doesn’t mean you’ll succeed. It just means you know how to play by the rules.
Realize that having a degree won’t guarantee you’ll succeed in life. You’ve got to take initiative.
7. Depend On the Holy Spirit
When Jesus says, “Apart from me you can do nothing”, I think he meant it. And I want to live it. I want those I’m discipling to live it as well. I want the book of Acts lived out in my generation.
I want to see the power of God on display through my life and the lives of those I lead.
8. Get Organized
Get a calendar and use it. Get a task manager and use it. Write goals for yourself and track them. Write down massive visions of what you want to accomplish with your life and break them up into action steps. Make sure they’re SMART, too:
- S – pecific
- M – easurable
- A – greed upon
- R – ealistic
- T – imely
9. Serve the Purpose Of God
I love Acts 13:36 - “Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep.” Young people need to grasp this. We are on this earth to serve God’s purposes. When it’s all said and done it won’t matter what name I made for myself.
“Only one life ’twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.” – CT Studd
Until your last dying breath, serve the purpose of God in your generation.
10. Get a mentor
Don’t approach your life as a lone ranger. You need others who have gone before you to give you perspective. Take the initiative to find leaders you look up to and learn from them. Be open to learning. Submit and apply what you learn.
Question: What advice would you give to your younger self about leadership? You can leave a comment by clicking here.