11. Lead

CORe churches train and coach young people towards leadership at all levels.

You then, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus; and what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well. (2 Timothy 2:1–2)

Additional Bible texts:

Exodus 18:13-27 (Delegating)

Acts 15:36-41 (Disagreement and training)

Romans 16 (Greetings from Paul)

The apostles led the church as young men. Jesus trained them to continue his mission after his return to heaven. Similarly, young people need to be trained and prepared for positions of leadership in churches. Too often we assume that preparedness is a natural circumstance of age.

CORe churches realise that new leaders need to be trained and coached. They do not assume that when old leaders retire, new ones will automatically appear. They task current leadership with the mentorship of potential future leaders, and are intentional in guiding them to take over tasks when appropriate.

CORe churches care about future leaders, and invest in the future of the church.

CORe churches train and coach young people towards leadership at all levels.


Nathan Stickland, United Kingdom

CORe churches train and coach young people towards leadership at all levels.

When I was an early teen I found I was good at Pathfinder activities. I loved being outdoors, building fires, setting up tents, and helping with the tasks around the campsite. In fact, by my mid-teens myself and a friend my age were always helping out with the programme and activities, rather than carrying on with our Pathfinder coursework.

By the time we were 17 years old, we were both asked to lead the teens Pathfinder section of our club. We were leading teens just a few years younger than us. For me, this included my younger brother.

I knew at the time, as I reflect now, that we did not do the most exemplary job in our leadership or example. But we were given the opportunity, with a watchful eye of the other staff, to have a go and learn as we went along. My story is I went on to lead the club a few years later, and then was the leader of two other clubs in subsequent years.

CORe churches give young people the opportunity to lead and learn.

A well repeated sequence of teaching and learning is: I teach, you watch. I teach, you help. You teach, I help. You teach, I watch.

How could your church incorporate this CORe principle of Lead? How could your church release the latent potential of leadership in your young people?


  • When did you become a leader? How old were you?
  • How were you coached you when started to lead?
  • Young people were instrumental to founding the early church and the Adventist movement, were young people instrumental in founding your church? What role do young people play in leadership in your church?
  • How many young leaders are there in your pathfinder group? Can we learn from the pathfinder model?

Implementation questions

  • What do you already do to coach young people into leadership?
  • Are there elements of your church’s culture that need changing to allow more young leaders in your ministry?
  • Can we implement at least 3 of the suggestions below?
  • What is achievable to train and coach young people towards leadership within the next 12 months?

Suggestions for implementation

  • Create a list of leadership positions in the church, discuss which leadership positions could be open to young people.
  • Young people have difficulties committing to a long-term position. Consider asking young people for a project-based leadership position.
  • Send a group of young people to a Union/Conference leadership training day.
  • Create apprenticeship positions next to current leaders.
  • Create a system of support and supervision, where each existing leader is a mentor of a young person.
  • Set a goal of how many leadership positions should be filled by young people. Aim high.
  • Create a personal development plan – with a end vision – for each young person.
  • Consider implementing all, or part, of the Master Guide Leadership Training, as part of a young person's leadership development.