Training up the next generation of leaders for ministry should be done on purpose for a purpose. Training and mentoring your replacement is a necessary trait of a mature and secure leader. It doesn’t matter how much you learn, achieve or accomplish – when we die, it all dies with us unless we ensure the longevity of our leadership. Therefore, it is our duty as leaders to make sure that we begin to raise up and pour wisdom into future leaders so that our legacy is preserved. This is best accomplished on the frontlines of ministry.
A Leadership Lesson from Nature
In his book Passing It On, the late Dr Myles Munroe describes one of the most valuable lessons he ever learned. Dr Munroe and his wife, Ruth, were on a 5-day safari cruise in Africa. They were traveling on a 40-foot yacht along a river that ran through five Southern African states, including Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. The yacht’s captain was pointing out different species of animals and plants in their natural habitat along the banks of the river when all of a sudden the passengers heard a blood-chilling sound. It was the roar of a lion! All the animals became uneasy and the captain told them that the lions in the area were planning to make a kill that night. He agreed that the yacht could remain there so that everyone on board could watch what happened. Later, when the sun was about to set, a panicked family of elephants emerged from the bush. They began to trumpet warnings to each other as, seemingly out of nowhere, the lions appeared. The spectators on the yacht excitedly began snapping pictures as the drama unfolded. Just then, Dr Munroe noticed a lioness holding two cubs in her mouth. She gently put them down on a small mound under a tree, not far from the action. One by one she placed them in full view of the kill. This intrigued Dr Munroe and he wondered why the lioness would do that, as she seemed to be placing her cubs in danger. The captain pointed out that the lioness wanted to make sure the Cubs could see everything. He explained that the lion teaches its cubs how to hunt by allowing them to first observe those who had mastered the art. The lioness teaches by example and in this way secures its leadership legacy.