One of the fall outs of this whole Micheal Vick deal, at least for me, is that I’m seeing positives in quarterbacks I never really liked. For instance, starting Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb allegedly invited Vick to come to play in Philadelphia. Of course McNabb might actually be grooming his replacement. But that’s really of the essence of leadership. QB’s often do this, and sometimes it costs them their job. Ideally for McNabb, he would mentor Vick, and then see him take over when McNabb is ready to retire. But Vick could easily replace McNabb even before he is ready to step aside.
What we see in McNabb, and other unselfish quarterbacks, is critical to the health of the church: raising up new leadership. Instead of passively just letting someone fall into leadership, we ought to be regularly looking to find our replacements. Often times this means training up someone to either take our place, or giving them opportunities that they could replicate or serve/lead alongside of us.
This doesn’t happen by accident or default but by intentionality, and it often means giving others opportunities that put us on the sidelines. For instance, I like leading discussions, but what good is it if just lead them and never train up anyone else to lead them? It would be quite selfish of me. It may look good from the outside, but leadership that fails to seek to raise up new leadership is ultimately self-serving.
The two options are to groom new leadership now, or simply let leadership happen by people being sucked up into the vacuum created when old leadership leaves, dies, or steps down. The result of the vacuum is either a black hole where no leadership is developed (church, ministry, or comm group folds) or new leadership steps up which has no character qualities, gifting, and training for leadership (leads to unhealthy church, group, or ministry). Rarely is the case where there is a healthy ministry, comm group, or church which is not looking to groom the next generation of leaders.
Community groups need apprentices to take over/serve alongside and/or form new groups, elders need to train and groom elders, musicians need to seek to train new musicians, etc…, because you never know when you’ll “retire” or “get traded.” We’re not promised another day on Earth or at our church and so need to think forwardly.