Raising Listening Leaders

Leading others starts with our leadership of those entrusted to us - our kids, nieces, nephews, grand kids.  Guest writer Dayna  Olson- Brooks points out that  leadership starts at home and then pours outward to those we lead in corporate and church settings.



One of the greatest joys of raising two girls is being able to speak into their lives.  When they were little the lessons were about being kind, sharing and being obedient. As they grew older, lessons became about being honest, responsible and obedient to mom and dad, because we knew what was best for them. Now as young women, the lessons center on where we find truth and wisdom.  Mom and dad have taken a back seat while our girls figure out who they will put in the driver’s seat of their lives.

All along the way, we have planted faith seeds, sharing God's love stories with them, served Jesus together and explained the eternal hope we have in accepting the gift of salvation.  

When they were little, the message was simple: "God created you, Jesus loves you and wants to have a relationship with you". As they got bigger, the message remained simple: "We are sinners, God has a rescue plan and wants you to accept his Rescuer". Now as young women, the message is still simple, yet important:  "You need grace, Jesus gives it and you need to find your identity in that grace." 

It is that identity piece which seems to be the most challenging. I marvel at how much easier it was when they were little to accept parental wisdom and how their belief in God was simple and clear.  They had not yet heard the banging of the world's doubt drum, they had not yet come to know their own talents and capabilities.  

Perhaps it is the dependence on our own capabilities that causes us to stumble more than the world's drum. As parents we do our best to equip our children with the ability to make it in the grown up world. We focus on raising them to be independent, self-directed and responsible for themselves.  The question is, how do we teach them to wait and depend on the Lord before acting out of their own impatience?

This letter is from someone who truly struggles with waiting. I'm a getter' done gal and I have raised two more just like me! It is not my natural response to say, "Let's pray and wait on that for a while" or "Let's wait and see what God has in mind". Thankfully God has put me in situations where my own capabilities simply were not enough. I am now getting better at waiting on the Lord as He continues to smooth out my rough, ambitious edges, recognizing I have a long way to go.

If I could turn back the clock to when my girls were little, I would have them see their mom as a more prayerful, patient person who was less about getting things done and more about seeing what God was doing.  I would encourage them to look to God for answers rather than providing them without His direction. I would have used the words "because God says so" more often than "because I said so" and the phrase "God loves you" as often as "I love you".  

From my parent heart to yours, lead your littles (and not so littles!) to have a joint relationship with the Lord – of listening and waiting, as well as acting.  Show them how to talk to Him, trust in Him and wait upon Him.  Focus less on their identity as your child, and more on their identity as a child of God – their King. Teach them to lead, as He calls you and me to lead – Him first, and us second.


By Dayna Olson-Brooks

Dayna Olson-Brooks is the Family Ministries Director at Maple Ridge Baptist Church.   She is married to her husband Kevin and has two daughters – Olyvia and Bella.  Her passion is leading the next generation of leaders to serve God in their fullest capacity possible while remaining humble in servitude, hungry for Jesus, and compassionate to the needs of others.


SAVE THE DATE    |   Leverage is hosting a retreat for women in leadership October 17-19 2018. 

In preparation of the upcoming retreat, keep checking in for special  blog posts on the three pillars of leading well: PLAN-PRAY-PLAY

Anna Koehn