Leading the Next Generation

By Julie Lyles Carr There’s a temptation that strikes me these days with all too frequent occurrence.

I’m among friends here, right? This is a safe place?

Okay, here it goes. This temptation of mine.

With far too great a regularity, I find myself wanting to say, “Well, back when I was a teenager…”

Or, “Well, back when I got married…”

“Well, back when I had my first baby…”

To find these phrases so often ready to spring from my lips fascinates and horrifies me.

Kind of like when I found out that grannie panties actually are fantastically comfortable. Horrified. Yet still quite tempted to partake.

Horrified because there is certainly a part of my psyche that thinks I’m still somewhere in my mid-to-late twenties, with an occasion day thrown in that I feel like I’ve crested thirty. Which is frankly hilarious as I look at the digits associated with my next birthday. And for someone who does ‘feel’ young, to find such antiquarian utterances ever on my tongue jolts me a bit. They are remarks that not all that long ago I would roll my eyes whenever I heard them.

And now I’m sometimes saying them.

Like grannie panties. Things I never thought I would wear or say, but the march of time brings them to the front page. But while I may not be able to slow the pace of the clock, I can choose how I trek to the cadence.

We have become the upperclassmen on the campus of life. Remember when you were a freshman at high school? And the senior class seemed so experienced, so mature, so cool, so wise?

That can be us, those of us who have now lived some life, wrestled in our marriages, cleaned up some messes, learned some lessons. We can invest in the next generation coming up, those young women who will need to live even more intentionally, more purposefully for Christ in a world that is increasingly apathetic and at times hostile to His message.

We can be that senior class. How things used to be is irrelevant. How things are is what the next generation needs us to speak into. We need to speak innovation. Ideas. Approaches grounded on the ancient, timeless, progressive wisdom of God.

Because we serve a creative God. The One who says, “See, I am doing a new thing!” We must lead the way, continuing to grow, to change, to embrace the era that is now, not the one that was.

Leaders lead by forging a path. Not by trying to push a generation back to a time that is past. Technology is here. Social media is here. Busyness, distractedness, changing vistas in the fabric of our country. What was can’t broadcast solutions into the reality of today. It’s the wisdom that we’ve harvested in our lives that is of value, not the sentimental romanticization of the past. Lead by growing. Lead by forging. Lead by learning. And to be worthy of following.

And we’ll just keep the status of grannie panty wearing choices to ourselves. Mkay?

Join us for LeaderShare this month and learn more about leading the next generation.