The apostle Paul had an understudy. His name was Timothy. Timothy followed Paul, learned from Paul and modeled his ministry based on Paul’s instructions.
In his second letter to Timothy, Paul writes, “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Jesus Christ, and what you have heard from me, in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.”
This passage is found in 2nd Timothy 2:2. I think of this as the multiplication passage. Two, two, two. Second Timothy 2:2.
Paul says what you heard me in front of others, you now tell others, who will be able to tell others as well.
We have an unprecedented opportunity to begin leadership development with our own children. This does not have to be difficult or task heavy. This is simply identifying the basic qualities of leadership that already exist in your children and fanning that gift into a flame.
Whether it is baking a cake, doing some basic home repair or even preparing for family devotions, we can involve our kids. I get it, though. If we are looking to make it quick, simple and streamlined, exclude your kids from helping. It will take longer. They ask questions. They spill and make messes far more easily than I do. They will drop the nail far more frequently than I will. But it is worth it.
The thing about your child that annoys you the most may be the very thing that could set them apart as a leader in their future. It might be a leadership trait in disguise. Sometimes the kid who seems to be the most problematic is simply a future leader with raw and untapped leadership ability, waiting for someone to lead them. That is our job. We can shape and form that gift that sometimes goes awry.
My encouragement to you is to look at your children's eager shortcomings with an eye toward development and not disgust. I tell you the very trait that is continually tripping you up as a parent may have an uncharacteristically positive side. Seek to develop a future leader.
Over the years, I’ve often pulled aside one of our older kids who has been causing difficulties at dinner or during devotions and I share with them, “Can you help me? Clearly you are a leader. The question is which way will you lead? Will you lead toward good or will you lead toward evil? Would you be willing to help me tonight at dinner? You see, I need you to be a part of my team.”
At this moment we have just begun the basic fundamentals for spiritual multiplication and leadership development. Taking the initiative to develop and not just discipline can be very, very formative in the life of a young leader.
This week, look at your kids with an eye toward leadership development. Truly, it could make all the difference in the world.
- Recall: When does leadership develop in your children?
- Reflect: Do you take the time to involve your children, to develop their leadership skills?
- Respond: Look at your kids this week, what leadership skills can you begin developing in them?
- Rethink: What are you doing right now to fan their gifts into flame?