"They said to me, "Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire. When I heard these things, I sat down and wept.
" Nehemiah 1: 3-4.As church insiders sound the alarm of impending danger ahead, who will save religious institutions from major disaster? What's happening to our children? Have you witnessed the disobedience and rage in our children? This has created a spiritual dilemma in our churches. This fact is an indictment on America's churches for not getting the job done. I have worked in various positions with youth and speak at local schools frequently. Currently, I coordinate a boy's mentoring program at church, and I understand the many challenges for church leaders. We are simply not ready to prepare our children as followers as well as leaders.
Most churches even ignore the fact that changes must be made in discipling our children in a pop culture frenzy. We need the right kind of leaders to inspire this new generation. A dictatorial style of leadership may work in the military environment but will fail to inspire our next church leadership.
At this moment in time, an organizational conflict is brewing. Today, many churches operate under a cloak of tradition while the vast majority of their young people operate in a postmodern culture. As a matter of fact, postmodernism challenges the very assumptions of Christianity. First, postmodernism questions the assumption of any goodness.
Second, postmodernism questions religious traditions as an effective tool for organizational identity. Postmodern advocates view Christianity as producing carbon copies of the same culture in other religious organizations. Lastly, postmodernism rejects the premise of absolute truth. This clearly contradicts biblical teachings. Therefore, these postmodernism premises attack the heart of Christianity and thus, provide an avenue for organizational conflict between leaders and young followers. These young followers are viewed by older generations as independent mavericks who are loaded with pessimism and anger.
Most youth advisors find it difficult to reach this "Generation Next" because some possess a "know everything" attitude.Unfortunately, the current leadership structure is not prepared for a Generation X and Y congregation. Let me make my point. A transformation leader may be the most attractive leadership because this leadership type encourages, inspires, and concentrates on his followers' needs; this person will be able to lead this talented generation.
Transformational leadership is a process that focuses on changing people. Biblically speaking, there's evidence to support using a transformational leader to inspire an emergent generation. In the Old Testament, Israel faced a crisis at the hands of the Babylonians. The city walls laid in ruins. This left the Jews remaining in the city helpless and unable to defend themselves.
God answers their call with a transformation leader in Nehemiah and he acted promptly. His actions was not a rush to judgment but can be characterized as faithful, cautious, courageous, and visionary. In leading this emergent generation, Nehemiah faced heavy opposition, from external forces (Nehemiah 4:3, 4:8, and 6:2); he also faced conflicts (Nehemiah 5:5) from within his organization. Clearly, there is no biblical support that Nehemiah was trained to rebuild this wall as a project manager; however, he possessed a great administrative gift, a faithful heart, a passion for servicing others, a desire for inspiring and encouraging followers, and a drive to obey God's Word.
Finally, these characteristics are consistent to a transformational leader. Through Nehemiah's leadership, the rebuilding of the city walls was completed in 52 days.Clearly, God used a transformational leader to inspire a lost generation. Therefore, today's churches need to consider their leadership techniques in motivating this new generation. God used a transformational leader to inspire a lost generation under siege.
Youth need something different. Now is the time for preparation. Start today!.References:.Constable, T. (2004).
Notes on Nehemiah. Retrieved on January 13, 2006, from http://www.soniclight.com.Harding, K.
(2000). Understanding Emerging Workforce Trends. Retrieved January 6, 2006, from http://www.dinet/article.php?article_id=129.Northouse, P.
(2004). Leadership theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Stedman, R.
(1989). Looking for a Few Good Men. Discovery Publishing, message: 11, catalog no: 4167.
© 2006 by Daryl D. Green..Daryl D. Green has published over 100 articles in the field of decision-making (personal and organizational), leadership, and organizational behavior.
Mr. Green is also the author of two acclaimed books, Awakening the Talents Within and My Cup Runneth Over. He is a columnist, lecturer, professor, and management consultant.
Mr. Green has a BS in engineering and a MA in organizational management. Currently, he is pursuing a doctoral degree in strategic leadership.
For more information, visit his website at http://www.darylgreen.org.
By: Daryl Green