Do you lead cross-generationally?
Do you lead cross-generationally? (iStock photo )

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How big and influential is your leadership? What kind of leader are you?

Are you aware enough to know the honest answers to these questions? One of the greatest mistakes leaders make is thinking we are far more influential than we really are. If all a leader listens to and communicates with are the people who think like them and personally connect to them, they are greatly limiting their leadership potential.

People with Much Diversity

In my present responsibilities as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, I have the incredible challenge of providing leadership to a mass of people filled with a diversity of opinions and preferences. Speaking of diversity, twenty percent of our 51,000 plus churches and congregations are non-white.

This task to provide leadership to men, women, pastors and laypersons requires me to value each person and their uniqueness in the body of Christ. Big and influential leadership requires that I listen to and involve all walks of life as much as possible. It comes down to one thing ... my goal of leadership.

The Goal of Leadership

Our goal should be to make the biggest difference in as many lives as we possibly can. Therefore, we need to adjust our leadership as much as we can without ever compromising biblical truth and principles. This is possible, and in reality, we must do it if we are going to make the most difference with our own lives.

Someone once told me, "The sharper the ax, the bigger the blow!" Therefore, sharpening our leadership can increase the influence we have in the lives of people.

Don't Limit Your Influence

What is a cross-generational leader? Leading cross-generationally occurs when you are able to lead people in your own generation, the generation that came before you, and the generation that comes behind you. This is cross-generational leadership. We all need to lead cross-generationally!

Many leaders are so focused on their own generation; they leave the others out. Others are so focused only on the generation behind them; they ignore those beside them and ahead of them. This limits a leader's influence.

Here are three reasons why you need to lead cross-generationally:

1. Cross-generational leadership is biblical. Abraham, Moses, David, and Jesus led cross-generationally. They were leaders who reached around, ahead, and behind.

2. Cross-generational leadership is missional. It is so important that we keep the completion of the Great Commission as our goal in everything we do. Presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ to every person in the world and making disciples of all the nations is our priority.

Since this is our missional calling, it must serve as our motivation to impact as many people as possible. The only way to do this is by leading cross-generationally. Again, we must be able to reach people within our generation, behind our generation, and ahead of our generation.

3. Cross-generational leadership is spiritual. When the Holy Spirit fills, empowers, and anoints us as leaders, He equips us to reach all generations.

The love of Christ ignites me to reach all generations. Jesus loves people within my generation. Jesus loves people behind my generation. Jesus loves people ahead of my generation. Therefore, when the Holy Spirit is leading my life and the love of Christ is motivating my life, I will lead cross-generationally.

Pastor and church leader, let your leadership become as big and as influential with as many people as possible.

Dr. Ronnie Floyd has been a pastor for over 37 years. Since 1986, Pastor Floyd has served as the senior pastor of Cross Church, Northwest Arkansas, which has baptized over 17,000 people during his tenure. Cross Church was one of the first churches in America to go multi-site. In June 2014, Pastor Floyd was elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention. He has authored over 20 books including FORWARD: 7 Distinguishing Marks For Future Leaders, released in 2015.

For the original article, visit pastors.com.

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