Sunday, 07 November 2010
By Justin at BeDeviant
Is your church, organization or business ready for a 14-year-old?
I was talking with a friend who shared a story I want to give to you. My friend was at a conference, listening to a speaker on the future of the church. The speaker said, “I know a 14-year-old who is the smartest person in this room.” He then had the highly-embarrassed young man stand up and wave to the crowd.
“This young man,” he continued, “is who your organization should be targeting right now. You need to make all of your decisions, base all of your strategy on how he lives his life. Communication, spending, socialization, everything.”
The speaker went on to suggest that everyone over the age of 30 needed to seek out a teenager and ask them to be a “reverse mentor” of sorts. Ask a teenager how their world works and use that knowledge to shape the future of their organization. A reverse mentor to teach older generations how the world will work in a short span of time.
Personally, I think this is brilliant. I think a lot of decisions people make in business, organizations and churches are based on what’s working now instead of what will be working five, 10 and even 20 years down the road. We forsake the long term for the short term.
What makes this sting is when the current decision makers are long gone, those 14-year-olds will move into their places. They’ll be faced with an organization that functioned well in the “Way Things Used to Be”, not “How Things Currently Are.” They’ll have to dig out of a hole they didn’t create. No one will have set them up for success.