When the European football national team named the young lad the captain of the team, it met with a lot of arguments among sports fans. While some applauded the decision, others were of the opinion that the captaincy should have been given to much older and experienced players. But I got a wisdom for the young chap; how to lead older people.

Friend, leadership is not by age, but it can be influenced or affected by age. Age should count for maturity. Otherwise, it is just a number (Job 32:6-8). In scriptures, eldership is not the same as oldership; eldership is maturity of character and competence, and oldership is age. You can be the older but not the elder. Eldership is leadership (Titus 1:5).

Whereas your gifts and abilities can give you leadership opportunities among older people, you need wisdom and maturity to succeed. Most young people have passion but lack wisdom. They have a drive but lack balance. They have vision but lack experience. God often balances the passion of the young with the wisdom of the aged (1 Kings 12:1-16, 2 Chronicles 26:2-5).

We cannot do without the older generation. We need both the former and latter rain to bring in the endtime harvests (Hosea 6:3, Joel 2:23-25). There is nothing like the younger generation is retiring the older generation. It is just pride or ignorance. Nobody is retiring anyone; everyone has their place in the program of God. It is not about replacement. It is about reinforcement (Acts 18:24-28).

As a young Bishop of the church at Ephesus, Paul gave Timothy a wisdom classic for leading among diverse age brackets (1 Timothy 5:1-2). I once heard a young pastor say that his mum often kneels down to greet him; this is ignorance or pride. Whereas older people should respect the call of God upon your life to lead them, you have the scriptural duty to honour them.

Whether in the church, workplace, or sports team, what you need to lead older people is relationship, not authority. It is collaboration, not command. Stop trying to control older people with your anointing or skill. Listen to what they have to say. Eli’s eyes may be dim, but he has something to teach Samuel about hearing from God (1 Samuel 3:1-11). Jethro may not have seen the burning bush, but he has the wisdom to deliver Moses from burnout in leadership (Exodus 18:13-27).

‘Demola Awoyele
Lead Pastor,
Destiny Impact Church
Akure, Nigeria