Leadership is best taught young.

As I write this, 150 kids, 6–13 years old are ‘living it loud’ in our annual holiday club. Gracepoint has held a holiday club since we planted the church 11 years ago. http://www.gracepoint.co.za

This year’s theme is ‘Smurfs’ and there are a whole lot of blue people running around our campus, trying to control the masses. It’s a beautiful sight.

The best part for me is seeing young leaders develop. Some of them surprise us and out of the blue (excuse the smurf pun), people who we last expect to be influential, become the most wonderful leaders.

The leaders of the holiday club are as young as 13 years old. We ask anyone, and I mean anyone, who comes to our youth, to volunteer as a leader of our Holiday Club. You see, the church is one of the greatest training ground for leaders. At school, there are so many other factors that shape the outcome of leaders. In the church context, possibilities are given to people who would never normally have lead.

So out of the motley crew of young people, great leaders are born. Their initiation into leadership might be in a small group leading kids not much younger than they are, but nevertheless, it shapes and builds leaders who I know are not only impacting lives now, but will continue to make an impact in many years to come.

5 reasons to get leaders started young.

1. The pressure to ‘perform’ is almost zero.

2. You can get them to understand the culture of your organisation better.

3. You have a better understanding of future trends.

4. Young people aren’t easily offended. There resilience and ability to move on is remarkable.

5. It is an automatic transition process when older leaders have to step down.

Perhaps this is a good time to consider what you are doing to grow the next generation of leaders in your organisation? Start young, find a project where young people can learn to lead, fail, recover and grow.

Well, I’m off to witness the passing out of letters to the kids as I take on the role of Mr Posty. A highlight of my year. Not just because I know lives are being transformed, but because I see leaders being born.