Tag Archives: leadership lessons

The Millennial Leader: An Introduction

I started laughing before I typed a single letter of this blog entry. “The Millennial Leader”–even the words make me laugh. I have to tell you, I have worked with a lot of millennials. In my current job, I started out surrounded by millennials. One was very smart but incredibly insecure; one was gorgeous but made very stupid decisions on the daily; and one was fairly smart and hard-working. All three were women. I currently work with one millennial male, and he’s a mix of all three of those. Somewhat smart, makes stupid decisions on the daily, hard-working, gorgeous (lol). He is a far better example of what millennial leadership should look like than the girls were–which, as a woman myself, naturally upsets me.

Millennials are the subject matter of leadership material everywhere; interesting, because my generation never needed books written on how to deal with us, work with us, or train us to be leaders. Seems most of us just naturally figured it out. But with these new generations, that is not the case. There are tons of videos, articles, and books that deal only with how to work with millennials and groom them for leadership. The truth is, millennials are a lot of hard work in the workplace. Looking at the four I mentioned up there, only one has moved on to do bigger and better things–the fairly smart hardworking woman. The rest are floundering, because they entered into an organization that did not train them properly, work with them on their skills (leadership and otherwise), and expected far too much of them in an environment not well-suited for them. That is partially the fault of organizations and companies worldwide; the rest of the blame falls on parents, culture, and millennials themselves who have been handled with kid gloves so they only respond to compliments, praise, and rewards.

And if there’s one place where millennials are getting far too many leadership opportunities and not nearly enough training, it is in the church. Don’t get me wrong; I see the need for millennials in our churches. We want and NEED this generation to be involved in the church and contributing to its success. However, we are doing them an injustice by not giving them proper training and support and making sure they are being healed from their issues prior to throwing them into ministry.

My church is no different. I can look across our campuses and see the involvement of millennials as pastors (youth, worship, children’s, even campus pastors). But I also see where we as a church have failed them. We plucked many of them from their former environments–where some of them are struggling to overcome family issues, addictive behaviors, and worse–and expected them to lead ministries and people without giving them the resources to succeed.

And as this is happening, the millennials themselves are demanding to “have a seat at the table”–to contribute and speak their minds without fear of failure. And all the while, they are failing to lead with integrity and failing to thrive because they refuse to be held accountable, refuse to give up their vices (desiring to be worldly and godly at the same time), and refuse to mature emotionally (and thus, spiritually). And I am watching it happen with great sadness.

And yet, my worship leader, at the tender age of 23, stands head and shoulders above his peers. I’ve led and coached a number of people in my lifetime, and I’ve been led by a number of people in my lifetime. And I am also very proud to say that he’s one of the best leaders with whom I have ever worked.

I am excited to share how a ministry team can thrive under a spiritually mature millennial who leads with integrity and honor. You don’t want to miss this!

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LL School Day: A Not-So-Holy Ghost

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Image courtesy of lekkyjustdoit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When I first moved here, I made a friend through work, we’ll call her Carol, who was someone that I enjoyed. She was in her mid-20s, a hard worker, and pretty much a great gal. She confided a great deal in me, as I was one of the first people she met when she moved here–so our friendship grew, and she even invited me to her wedding earlier this year. Considering I knew not another single person there, it was still a great time and a fun event–though a bit of a stretch for this introvert.

Carol is super smart and often shared her struggles with me. I invited her to come visit my church several times (though she never did), and even shared some things with her. She was much like a sister to me, and someone with whom I truly connected, even though we had very little in common.

Carol eventually moved on from my company and got a new job, something she had been really wanting to do since moving here last August. I shared in her happiness, as I felt she had been wasting away here at my company. Our conversations thinned out a bit as she was adjusting to a new job and as God was stretching me and teaching me through a tumultuous time with my car. At one point, I texted her in tears letting her know that things just were not going well for me at the time. She asked if there was anything she could do, and I let her know that I might need a ride to the grocery store later in the week. She never responded to my request, so–knowing how busy she often is–I asked another friend to take me.

The next week, I was very caught up in the car drama, and honestly, I just did not have time to text Carol. But the following week, I texted her to see how she was doing. No response. I sent another text the next day, and again, no response. The next week, I texted her and asked if she was okay–on vacation or if things were well. Again, no response. After a conversation with my mother about the situation, I once again texted Carol and again was met with the same non-response. I truly have no idea what happened.

The abrupt ending to a friendship for a reason is one thing. But to have someone “ghost” me for no reason was quite hurtful. But I also know that sometimes, these things happen. Around the same time, I had asked God to remove anyone who might not have pure intentions towards me (I was praying out of the Psalms at the time). I don’t know whether this was an answer to prayer, but I do know that some friends are only in your life for a season. I am at the age where I can accept a not-so-holy ghosting of a friend, not totally understand the situation, but still trust that God knows best. And because of that, I rest peacefully and wish Carol nothing but happiness.

LL: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)–especially in relationships.