I read a fair number of blogs written by senior pastors. Pastors of huge mega churches and small churches. Pastors with big staffs and little to no staff. I have noticed lately that I am seeing a lot of them talking about pouring into their young staff members by spending 1 on 1 time with them, mentoring them and teaching them to be better leaders. I love this trend. The only way to have great leaders in the future is for them to spend time with great leaders.
When I was in training as a Surgical Assistant, the montra of the surgical training program was, "See one, Do one, Teach one." This is a tried and true training method for several reasons. You learn by watching someone who has done it before, you learn by doing, and you learn by teaching someone else. This is great for the one being taught, and the one doing the teaching. In a teaching hospital, there are the young ones and the old ones. There are very few in the middle. This is not the case in ministry. Church staffs are made up of young, middle aged and older ministers and leaders.
I say all this to say, I may be old (ish), but I still need to be taught and mentored. Those of us in the 40 - 50 year old range need the same kind of mentoring. Part of the call of a senior leader and really, all ministry leaders is to shepherd, pastor and set up for success, his or her staff, no matter how young or old, no matter whether they are seen as senior leader material or just the one who is just good (or even just ok) at what they do.
This is an important lesson for all of us in ministry. For those of us who lead teams, we need to remember that just because that member of our team has tons of experience and is really good at what he or she does for the ministry, it doesn't mean that they don't need to be poured into as much as the newbie that needs to be trained from the ground up. Pour love into them all.