September 20, 2023

Passing on Leadership to the Next Generation (with Carlos Cardenas) – Episode 314 | The Unstuck Church Podcast

passing on leadership to the next generation carlos cardenas

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Empowering Next Generation Leaders (Part 3)

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The more leaders in the church can work together and learn from each other, the more opportunity grows for effective multi-generational ministry. 

On this week’s podcast, you’ll hear from a Millennial leader who has benefited from a seat alongside leaders of another generation.


Carlos Cardenas is the executive pastor at Christ Fellowship Miami, a multi-generational, multicultural and international church meeting in multiple locations across Miami, the Caribbean, Latin America, and on online. In addition to his day job, Carlos also serves on our advisory team at The Unstuck Group 🙂

One of the reasons why I reached out to Carlos is because I’ve heard him talk about all that Christ Fellowship Miami is doing to empower the next generation of leaders. Carlos is a gifted Millennial leader and I also really wanted to talk with him about how the previous generation of leaders at CF Miami prepared him for his current leadership role.

I think Carlos’ perspective of what’s unique about Millennial leaders and the value that they bring to the church is insightful. Listen in as we discuss:

  • Tips for preparing to hand off leadership
  • How Millennials view leadership differently
  • Misconceptions about Millennial and Gen Z leaders
  • Encouragement for the role you’re in now

How to Structure Your Staff to Develop Next Gen Leaders

At this free webinar, Tony Morgan and Amy Anderson will empower you with the systems and strategies to confidently structure your church for future impact.

One of the best things the older generation can do to empower young leaders is to publicly affirm them. [episode 314] #unstuckchurch Click To Tweet If you want to grow in your own leadership, spend time with other leaders who are in your role (or the role you’re going to step into) but not at your organization. [episode 314] #unstuckchurch Click To Tweet The first step in empowering young leaders is to build relational equity by getting to know them on a personal level. [episode 314] #unstuckchurch Click To Tweet When it comes to leadership, don’t get comfortable. Keep asking questions. Stay curious. [episode 314] #unstuckchurch Click To Tweet

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Sean (00:02):

Welcome to the Unstuck Church Podcast, where each week we are exploring what it means to be an unstuck church. Conflict between generations is as old as parents and teenagers, but when it comes to leadership in the church, the more we can work and learn alongside each other, the more opportunity grows for effective multi-generational ministry. On this week’s podcast, you’ll hear from a millennial leader who has benefited from a seat alongside leaders of another generation. If you’re new to The Unstuck Church Podcast, before you listen, stop and go to to subscribe to get the episode show notes in your email. When you do, you’ll get resources to support each week’s episode, as well as access to resources from all of our past episodes. Again, that’s to subscribe. Now, before we get into this week’s conversation, here’s Tony.

Tony (00:54):

A lot of people in ministry feel overwhelmed by the amount of details they need to organize, volunteers they need to schedule or events they need to plan to cultivate community. But Planning Center, an all-in-one church management system, can help you organize your ministries and give your congregants a place to engage. Anyone can sign up for the free plan of any product to try out today at

Amy (01:23):

Well, welcome back to all of our listeners. And, Tony, we are in week three of our series on Empowering Next Generation Leaders, and we have gotten some great words of wisdom on the last two weeks. So, if you’re just jumping in now, I encourage you to go back and start at the beginning of this series, but I’m really excited for our guest today. So, Tony, maybe before we jump in, tell me where you’ve been at and what you’ve been doing.

Tony (01:45):

Yeah, so, gosh, I was just out in Oklahoma City, which it was 105 degrees out there, Amy.

Amy (01:51):

Oh my goodness.

Tony (01:53):

So I, it’s, yeah; I, that, it’s the time of year where you just need to be inside in the air conditioning for sure. But, it hot, it was a hot visit, and it was a great church that I got to serve. Yeah, Victory Family Church, they are, it’s just an incredible ministry, multisite church in several locations. And, Amy, they’re just, they’re growing like gangbusters right now. They’re reaching so many new people. And because of that, believe it or not, they are doing six different services on Sunday morning at their original location. They have two auditoriums.

Amy (02:30):

Oh, goodness.

Tony (02:31):

And so they have, they, they have services starting and stopping in these two different auditoriums in the church. And I, kudos to the senior pastor and the rest of the teaching team for, ’cause they’re actually teaching six different messages then on Sunday morning at that church. That would wear me out quickly.

Amy (02:52):

Wow. You know, Tony, we did that at our church.

Tony (02:54):

Did you?

Amy (02:54):

When we were early on in multisite, we, our building was not built yet. We thought we were moving the church, and we ended up with seven services on a Sunday morning. We called it ping pong ’cause the teacher was the ping pong, you know, between the two sides. But we actually leveraged that. Hey, Victory, if you’re listening, we leveraged that to introduce video teaching to our church.

Tony (03:15):

Yes. Yeah.

Amy (03:15):

So, it would be a video a couple of times ’cause who can preach seven times?

Tony (03:20):

Not me.

Amy (03:20):

I mean, you’d be crazy by then. I wouldn’t remember what I’d said and what I hadn’t. But way to go, you know, to really just double down in this season while you’re getting ready for expansion. And this is a good example of not every church that reaches out to us is stuck in the traditional sense.

Tony (03:37):


Amy (03:37):

You know, I didn’t get to serve this church, but I’m guessing it’s a different stuckness.

Tony (03:41):

That’s right.

Amy (03:41):

Like we actually have, we have to figure out how to replicate what we’re doing.

Tony (03:44):

Yeah. The reality is, Amy, most of the churches that are reaching out to us are healthy, thriving churches. Their stuckness is only about how do we move our mission forward? And that’s why we’re helping so many churches not just with multisite, but vision, clarity for the future, looking to expand impact in the community around how they’re engaging with people outside the faith and outside the church. Once we gather more people, how do we help, help those people take next steps towards Christ through spiritual formation? So there are all these other issues that really, we don’t, we don’t think of them as problems because it’s a reflection of growth that’s happening in church.

Amy (04:24):


Tony (04:24):

But maybe good problems for churches to have, and, and fortunately, like Victory Family Church, we get to serve a lot of great churches to help them figure out how, how do we continue to move our mission forward.

Amy (04:38):

Yeah. Well, great. All right. Well, let’s move into our series here on Empowering the Next Generation leaders. Why don’t you share, Tony, where we’re going in today’s conversation?

Tony (04:47):

Yeah. So, we’re, we’re both excited about this interview with Carlos Cardenas because his wife Shany also works for us. Carlos, though, is the executive pastor at Christ Fellowship Miami, great church. If you’re not familiar with Christ Fellowship, it’s a multi-generational, multicultural and international church because they’re meeting in multiple locations across Miami, the Caribbean, Latin America and online. Carlos, in addition to his day job as the executive pastor at Christ Fellowship Miami, also serves on our advisory team at The Unstuck Group, which I don’t know if a lot of folks are familiar with the fact that we do have an advisory team. And there are 12 pastors and church leaders. They’re all engaged in the ministry of the local church, and we love it because, hopefully, Amy, you and me are sharing some insights that help them move their mission forward at their, in, through their congregations. But we learn so much about what’s happening in the local church across the country in a, in a diversity of contexts. And one of the reasons why I reached out to Carlos is because I’ve heard him talk about what he’s doing and his ministry team are doing at Christ Fellowship Miami as it relates to empowering the next generation of leaders. And so, Carlos is a gifted leader and a unique leader. And I really wanted to talk with him about the, how the previous generation of leaders at Christ Fellowship Miami prepared him for his current leadership role. And I think his perspective of what’s unique about millennial leaders, since he is a millennial leader, and the value that they bring to the church is going to be very insightful. So, with that, here’s my conversation with Carlos. So, Carlos, I believe that Christ Fellowship Miami may be the largest church that, at least I know of, where the majority of the leadership team now are all millennials, including Omar, your lead pastor, and you, the executive pastor. So before we talk about leadership development and handing off leadership to next-generation leaders, how, how’s the ministry doing since that handoff?

Carlos (07:16):

Yeah. So the handoff took place in 2019, and our former lead pastor actually was the lead pastor for 23 years. He was very beloved, very influential and, and incredible communicator of God’s word. And, but by the grace of God, you know, we’ve, the transition has gone really, really well. Our, our congregation is, is at a very healthy place, and our staff is, is very healthy, as well. So a couple, couple of metrics that we know that affirm that feeling that we have, that there’s, you know, it’s very healthy right now. Last year, our, our last BCWI score, so this is a Best Christian Workplace score that we, that we did for the staff. Actually, we are at a flourishing state as a staff. So we have a very, by by, you know, by the grace of God. And we’ve been very intentional in trying to create a very healthy staff culture, you know, just a, a place where people work hard but at the same time have a lot of fun.

Tony (08:20):


Carlos (08:20):

And so we, we do a lot of things for the staff and their family. Just recently, we had a, a, a staff, all-staff retreat, and it was just a, a fun day at, at a, at a nice waterpark and a nice resort. And it was just a, a, an incredible time for, for our staff. So our, our staff is probably the healthiest has ever been, and I’ve been at Christ Fellowship on staff for 14 years. And I say that not because I’m, I’m the executive pastor. I promise you. You can, you can ask people from different departments and different ministries, and I think that they will say the same thing. And so I think our, our leadership team, number one, we’ve been very intentional in trying to create a healthy staff culture. And then it has, has also impacted our, our church in a, in a, in a positive and healthy way. And our attendance right now, we are about 17% growth from last year. Not only last year’s numbers but we’re measuring our, we’re not comparing it to last year, but we’re comparing it to the fourth quarter of last year.

Tony (09:29):


Carlos (09:30):

So, the fourth quarter of last year was actually pretty high. The average was higher than the average of 2022. So in comparison to quarter four of 2022, right now, we’re at a 17% attendance growth for our, for our onsite attendance, which is, which is amazing.

Tony (09:51):

It is.

Carlos (09:52):

It, it, it’s, it’s a, you know, a very, very, we’re, we’re very thankful for that, for that growth and, and for the way God is moving in our midst. And our small group ministry is, is thriving as well. One of, one of the things that Pastor Omar, myself and our leadership team, one of the things that we’ve really have challenged our church is, is to get connected to small groups. You know, a lot of the discipleship happens in the context of a small group. People, you know, are, are, are, are building those relationships, are growing in the Word of God. And, and just the weekend service is, is not enough. And, and we know that, right?

Tony (10:30):


Carlos (10:30):

And so we’ve really have been driving a lot, you know, getting into a small group. And, and one of the, one of the, the slogans or I guess one of the pithy statements that we’ve been using since, since, since the end of last year, and we actually adopted this from, from Willow Creek. We heard it at, at the, at the cohort that we were a part of for Unstuck. And, and, and one of the, the executive pastors there said that they’re, they’re constantly are, are telling their congregation, you know, that they want every person in a group and every group on mission.

Tony (11:06):


Carlos (11:06):

And so that’s something that we are consistently mentioning from, from stage, from the messages, from different videos that we do, vision casting moments, you know, every person in a group and every group on mission. And, and, and people are responding to that. And so, we, we, you, we’ve seen a good, good attendance not only onsite but also when it comes to small groups, as well. I think we’re at about 75% of our church is, is in a small group. That’s

Tony (11:40):

That’s phenomenal. This series, we’re really focusing on raising up and empowering the next generation of leaders. And if I understand correctly, Carlos, the previous leadership team at Christ Fellowship Miami was primarily baby boomers. And I’m curious. How, how did that generation of leaders prepare you, Omar and the other l young leaders on your team to step into your current leadership roles?

Carlos (12:09):

Yeah, absolutely. I, I would say first it began with relational, you know, equity building, relational equity. And, and I think it’s so imperative for the older generation of leaders to, to spend time with the younger leaders. You know, one of the things that I think the previous, my, you know, my predecessor, one of the things that they, that he did well and the leadership team did well, is that they would spend a good amount of time with us through, you know, just through meetings, through lunches, coffee. And there was a lot of relational investment that took place. So, the first, I would say the first stage is, is relational you know, getting to know the younger leaders. And the second thing I would say is that they gave us an opportunity to lead. They would empower us to not only, so it wasn’t just relational, relationship building, but it was also they, they gave us opportunities to, to lead. And they empowered us to, to, to lead ministries and to make decisions. I, I tell people, they, they gave us a seat, seat on the table, and so we were able to sit around the table. Even if, even if we were not part of the executive team before, there were certain meetings, meetings that were open to us, and they would allow us to speak into the decision-making process. And they gave us opportunity to lead. And, and, and my role is a little unique ’cause I’m the, I’m the executive pastor, but I, I preach pretty often. I’m the second communicator. Pastor Omar has allowed me to, to, to do that and, and, and work in that gifting in that area as well. And I would say, our formerly lead pastor, he allowed Pastor Omar, myself to, to preach. You know, he, I tell people before, before I ever preached at Christ Fellowship, I really did not preach at other churches. And, and I was, my, my background is music, worship, you know. I, I, I did music for a long time. And, and I was, I think, you know, you know, and to, to some extent, I was gifted in that. And I was, you know, I, I, I loved it. And I was passionate about worship. Still am. I, I, I love music and love worship, but, but I thought, I think that they saw gifts in me that I didn’t see in myself. And I remember the first time I, I preached a message, I feel bad for the people that were there and listening to it. I wish I could go back. And not saying that I’m a lot better now, but I wish I could go back and, you know, but they, but they gave me that opportunity to, to, to use a gift that, that I didn’t even see in myself. And so I, I, I would say those different things really prepared us for where we’re at now.

Tony (15:15):

Yeah. So, I didn’t realize you were also a musician, Carlos. What’s your primary instrument?

Carlos (15:21):

Primary instrument is, is the keyboard, piano. So I, yeah, I started.

Tony (15:25):

So that’s, there’s another reason why I like you so much because I, I also play the piano.

Carlos (15:32):

Oh, good. That’s awesome.

Tony (15:32):

I mean, we should, we should get together and play some duets at some point in the future. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Carlos (15:38):

I would love to. I would love to.

Tony (15:39):

So, you know, you’ve shared how the previous leadership team prepared you, prepared Omar and some of the other young leaders, but how did they prepare your church for this handoff to the next generation of leaders?

Carlos (15:52):

I, I think several things were done. Number one, once you allow someone, especially in the context that we’re in, when you allow someone like a Pastor Omar or my, or myself or any other leader, to have, to have a voice in on the weekend to, to preach, it, it’s a, it’s a big, big statement. And you’re, you’re entrusting, you know, you’re allowing this person to preach for a reason. And so, in the case of Pastor Omar and myself, there were several opportunities that we were given, even before we stepped into this current role, to preach on the weekend. And specifically when, when Omar was, when they made the decision that Omar would be our, our, the successor of Pastor Rick, who was our former lead pastor, he was, he was definitely positioned for that. And so it was kind of like tipping of the hand, you know, like, kind of like, I’m sort, sort of, you know, indirectly telling people that this is, you know, that these two guys are stepping into these roles, and there was a lot of empowerment as well. One, one of the things I think Pastor Rick did really, really well, specifically of Pastor Omar and, and even of myself, but because Omar was going to be his successor, he, he is his, was his greatest encourager and, and greatest cheerleader, you know, person who would empower him and me. You know, when, when it came to our, our leadership, our, our, our teaching, our, our, our preaching and, and, I, I think one of the biggest things that the older generation could do is really affirm, publicly affirm, the younger leaders because your, your voice carries so much weight, especially if you’re the senior pastor. And, and if you’ve been pastoring, like Pastor Rick has been pastoring for 23 years, people are very loyal to him. People are very faithful to him. People trust him. If he says one thing, they’re, they’re gonna follow his lead, and so with that being said, when they see that the lead pastor is affirming, is validating, is encouraging, those are very important steps that need to be taken to set up the, the next group of, of leadership.

Tony (18:22):


Carlos (18:22):

You know?

Tony (18:23):

Yeah, in many ways, kind of reflecting how Paul encouraged and set up Timothy for his leadership, too.

Carlos (18:30):

Yes. Yeah.

Tony (18:32):

That’s very good.

Carlos (18:33):

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.

Tony (18:35):

You know, Carlos, as you reflect back on your preparation for the role that you’re in now, leadership development, before you stepped into, into your current position, is there anything you wish maybe would’ve been done a little bit differently in retrospect as you look back? Is there anything you would’ve done differently to prepare for your current role?

Carlos (18:56):

Probably a lot. Just kidding. But, no, I, I, I think, my predecessor, for sure, did a great job of exposing me to a lot of other, you know, sides of ministry that I needed to, to, to be a part of. And, and you know, it, one thing is to know it and what, and another thing is to do it. So you know something in theory, but then, but then you have to actually practice that.

Tony (19:21):


Carlos (19:22):

And, and there’s also conflict resolution and things that you have to, decisions that you have to make that you’re not, that you probably haven’t forecasted or things that happen. Right? But one of the things I would say, Tony, and that’s not because you’re here, and what I would say spend more time with other leaders who are in your current role or the role that you’re gonna take on or something similar that are not in your, your ministry, that are not in your scope of, you know, that are not in, in the organization that you’re a part of, that you’re of staff on. I think one of the things, you know, for us, we’re, we’re very busy, and, you know, and it’s always the, the, the grind and the execution. And, and there’s, we’re, there’s always something that, that, that we need to take care of, and decision-making decisions that need to be made and, and other opportunities that come our way. And, and especially when, when you have multiple campuses in our city and even global campuses, there’s just a lot of moving pieces. But one of the things that was very helpful for me, Tony, in November when we were a part of the cohorts that Omar and myself went to. We’ve actually adopted many principles that were learned there. And we learned from you and Amy and, and, and your team. I mean, you guys are, have a plethora of wisdom and, and so much knowledge and, and church ministry, but it’s also very encouraging and challenging to be with other leaders.

Tony (20:58):

That’s right.

Carlos (20:59):

That are, that are leading at a higher level than us. You know, we felt, we felt like the rookies. We found like, Hey, what do, what are we doing here? You know, we were asking a bunch, a bunch of questions, but we’ve actually have adopted, you know, number one, the, the, the, the vision of every person in a group and every group on mission is something that we just took on. And we just have been hammering that, that statement and just been challenging our staff and our congregation. Kingdom builders, we’re, not that we’re doing kingdom builders, but we’re doing something similar to that. And we were able to pick the, the, some, some of the, the brains of, of the people there and some of the things that they’re doing to build the generosity muscle. So that was very helpful. What I would say is, spend time, more time with other leaders that are not in your organization who lead at a higher level than, than you do. And the cohort, and this, I promise you, Tony, did not tell me to say this, and this is not a commercial. This is not a commercial. But Omar and I really benefited from our time there.

Tony (22:08):

Yeah. Well, that’s kind of you.

Carlos (22:09):

That was very helpful.

Tony (22:09):

That’s kind of you, and let me just maybe share, encourage you, don’t lose that, Carlos. I, I was just with another great leadership team at another church this past week, and, you know, they’ve seen a lot of success in ministry. I think the senior pastor has been there over 30 years, and yet they’re still wanting to learn. They’re still wanting to learn from others. They haven’t lost that curiosity. And unfortunately, too many times I see pastors, church leaders that have found success somewhere along the way. And now they, they’re not, they have stopped learning because they’re kind of riding the wave of that previous success. So don’t, don’t lose that. I know, and I know you and Omar continue to model that for the rest of your team, as well. So, Carlos, as a millennial, do you think that you approach leadership differently from previous generations? And if so, how?

Carlos (23:10):

Yeah, that, that’s a, that’s an excellent question. I think the, the, you know, there’s some things that, that are the same and some things that, you know, leadership is, is transferable and, you know, whatever context that you’re in. But I think what with the, especially millennials and the younger generations, what I, what I have seen is that there’s more of a team leadership, you know? And there’s more of a, you, we desire to foster a culture of collaboration. And so there’s more collaboration, and it’s not so much of a hierarchy where top leadership or there’s one person or two or three people that are making all the decisions, all the decisions. But I think when it comes to millennials and Gen Z, and I’ve experienced that, and I, I feel like we lead this way; there’s more collaboration. It’s very collaborative. And you, one of the things we’ve, we’ve invited student directors, you know, that are not even part of the core because our structure at Christ Fellowship is the, we call it D L T, Directional Leadership Team, which I actually lead that team. And, you know, pastor Omar leads me, but you know, he’s, it’s Pastor Omar, myself and a group of us. And then we have the core, which is campus pastors, ministry directors. You know, there’s a good amount of people there. And then, you know, then we have student directors and the campus teams, and we will at times invite people from, you know, campus teams to come into our, our Directional Leadership meetings and, and, you know, we pick their brain. You know, give us feedback. What are you, what are we doing well? What are some things that we need to improve, improve on? And, and, and what are you, you know, what, what are, what are some of the things that challenges that, that you guys are facing that we don’t know of, you know? And so what I would say when it comes to millennials, there’s more of a collaborative culture and, and, and leadership. And, and they desire that, you know. And, and I, and we’ve tried to implement and foster that type of environment at, at Christ Fellowship.

Tony (25:17):

So, from your perspective then, you know, maybe give some coaching to me. I’m in the Gen X, so I’m a generation a little bit ahead of you as far as years on this earth. But give me some coaching because I think there are some big, maybe misconceptions about leaders in your generation. So, what do you think some of those misconceptions are that maybe if we understood more clearly, it would help us help you become better leaders in the long run?

Carlos (25:50):

Yeah, I would say, and what I have seen in, in, in my ministry setting from, from leaders who are older, at times. So, for example, if you’re not in the office, office from nine to five, then you’re not working a full day. And, and you’re, and you’re, and you’re being lazy. You’re being lazy, and you’re not, you’re not, your work ethic is questionable. The problem is that, you know, what I think when it comes to millennials and Gen Zs, they desire more of a flexibility and remote working. And just because you’re in the office from nine to five does doesn’t equate, you know, productivity or hard work. And so I know people, you know, some young men and women in our, on our staff that wants flexibility, and they wanna work remotely. But they’re cranking out work at times at night.

Tony (26:48):


Carlos (26:48):

Or, you know what, in odd hours. And they’re more productive than some people who are working from nine to five in the office. And so I think automatically there’s some old, you know, ways of thinking. Like there needs to be a paradigm shift when it comes to things like that, because you just, you think, okay, well, some, sometimes, oh, millennials are lazy, or, or, or they don’t, they’re entitled and don’t work hard. And, and, and truthfully, no, they work hard. But they’re, the way that they get to, to fix a, a problem may be different than how you would fix it.

Tony (27:28):


Carlos (27:29):

So if the outcome is the same, why, why, why are, why are you gonna be so closed-minded on how you got there?

Tony (27:36):


Carlos (27:36):

You know? And so there’s a certain way, a certain stigma that you think of, this is what hard work looks like. And sometimes hard work, you know, isn’t the most productive work or the smartest type of work, you know? And, and, and I think millennials want to find and discover ways to, we got this done faster and a more in a smarter way, in a different approach than, than the, than the other ways that it was, that it was done. You know?

Tony (28:04):

It makes sense. Yeah.

Carlos (28:06):

Yeah. Yeah.

Tony (28:06):

Alright. And then, you’ve given some coaching to my generation to help raise you up as a leader. For a moment, talk to other millennials or folks in Gen Z, they’re maybe preparing to step into future leadership roles. What, what encouragement would you give them as they think about future leadership, particularly in the context of the church, Carlos?

Carlos (28:29):

Yeah. For whatever reason, it feels easier to, to, to give this answer. But I would say to to, to men and women who are millennials and are in, in my stage of life and or Gen Z is, is, there’s always a process. And patience is part of the fruit of the spirit. Right? And, and, and be patient. Because I think what happens oftentimes is people want instant gratification and they don’t understand delayed gratification. And for example, in, in the case of Omar and I, we, we’ve been at Christ Fellowship for 14 years. And I’m sure there was, I mean, for, I can speak for myself, there were moments of discouragement, moments of even doubting, you know, am my call to this? Am I not? And is this the right, you know, place that I need to be in? And challenging moments and, and, and probably felt overlooked or not valued as much as we thought we should be valued. But, it, you gotta allow the process to take place. And I think what happens oftentimes with younger men and women, millennials or Gen Z, is that they want, because of the comparison trap and, and because they see other people and the success of others on social media, whether Instagram or TikTok or whatever other platforms, Twitter, you know, they, they aspire things like that. And they don’t allow, they, they don’t allow to root themselves in a certain ministry context. And, and also share your, your, if you’re a, if you’re a younger leader who is under the leadership of an older leader, you know, share your frustrations with them. Be honest, you know, be honest. Even if they don’t ask for the feedback, be honest with them. And, and share, rather than just picking up your bags and, and leaving. Because I think what happens oftentimes is, is when you become impatient and you feel like your gifting is not being used as much as you would desire it to be used. And, and it’s still the older leader leading, and you’re not being empowered; it’s just very easy to just move on to another ministry. And, and sometimes, that, that may be the case. Sometimes, you need to do that. Sometimes you, you, you should, you know. But, but, but that’s not always the answer.

Amy (30:54):

Well, Tony, that was fantastic. And now people know why we love Carlos.

Tony (30:58):


Amy (30:58):

And I loved hearing that perspective from a millennial leader in the church. And I don’t know; it just reminded me why I’m also thankful that Carlos is a part of our advisory team at The Unstuck Group.

Tony (31:09):


Amy (31:10):

Tony, what stood out to you from that conversation?

Tony (31:13):

Yeah, Amy, really two key things. The first keep learning, and this is just a challenge. And I know I, I face this to this day, and I’ve been in ministry for nearly 25 years now.

Amy (31:26):


Tony (31:27):

But we can’t get comfortable. We need to keep asking questions. I need to stay curious because, and I’ve seen this, Amy, every time that I engage with another ministry I learn something new.

Amy (31:41):


Tony (31:42):

And no matter what size the church or what context the church is in. And, I just love the reminder from Carlos that we need to keep learning. We need to continue to pursue opportunities to be around other leaders who are outside our current ministry context. The second big thing that stood out to me, though, is Carlos was really describing why we need to embrace all three components of development. And here, here are the three components that I commonly share with church leaders as they’re thinking about raising up and developing the next generation of leaders. The first is we have to share wisdom. We, we actually have to teach. Secondly, we need to model the way that we hope younger leaders will engage ministry and leadership. In other words, we do; we periodically, we have to give them a seat at the table. We, we need for them to be around us so that they can see how we engage ministry, how we engage leadership. And that’s part of the development process. And number three, we need to give them opportunities to actually put it into practice and to do this while you can still be at their side to coach them through it. And so we’re not just throwing them out there.

Amy (33:01):


Tony (33:02):

And saying, my job’s done. You, you, it’s your turn to take this over. No, we’re going with them. And it’s as if we are a coach. We’re on the playing field ready to encourage them and challenge them and help them continue to lead but giving them the opportunity to actually do that. That’s

Amy (33:20):

That’s fantastic. Well, Tony, any final thoughts before we wrap up today’s conversation?

Tony (33:24):

Yeah. In this series, we’ve been discussing how to empower the next generation of church leaders. But one aspect of this that you may not have considered is your organizational structure and how your structure could be harming your leadership development. So if you’d like to learn more, we’re hosting a webinar on How to Structure Your Staff to Develop Next Generation Leaders. And in this free training, we’re gonna help you assess current team health and performance, evaluate your next-generation leadership capacity and potential structure to your strategy today and map out a potential future structure to begin preparing you to hand off leadership in the future. And you can register to join us for this free event, which will be on September 28th, through the link in your show notes.

Sean (34:13):

Well, thanks for joining us on this week’s podcast. Like Tony said, we’d love to have you join us on our upcoming webinar on developing next-generation leaders. To sign up, just use the link in your show notes. And if you don’t yet have the show notes, go to Next week, we’re back with another brand new episode. Until then, have a great week.

Tony Morgan

Tony is the Founder and Lead Strategist of The Unstuck Group. Started in 2009, The Unstuck Group has served 500 churches throughout the United States and several countries around the world. Previously, Tony served on the senior leadership teams of three rapidly growing churches including NewSpring Church in South Carolina. He has five published books including, The Unstuck Church, and, with Amy Anderson, he hosts The Unstuck Church Podcast which has thousands of listeners each month.

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