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Is Leadership Really Just for the Old?

When we talk about leadership, we usually think of people such as presidents, prime ministers, and generals. If there is one thing common to all of them, it is that most people who have such a position are older people (old is subjective, nonetheless, they are not that young). Also, it’s the kind of mindset that people usually have—that the one who is older should be the one who should lead all the time. Well, a person with so many years has accumulated tons of experience and wisdom. But that does not necessarily mean that young people cannot lead or are not fit to lead. In fact, you will see in the Bible that God has been using people from a young age.

Take, for example, King Solomon. King Solomon became a king at a young age (1 Kings 1:39-40). A typical king that a nation would have is usually a middle-aged one, but King Solomon, despite being young, was able to govern his kingdom well. No one said he was too young and therefore needed to wait to be at least 18 before being qualified to be king. King Solomon was greatly known for His wisdom. One particular testament to this was when the two prostitutes were arguing their case about who was the real mother of a baby. It was a hard case to judge with ordinary thinking and wisdom. They did not have DNA tests or CCTV cameras to verify someone’s testimony at that time. But we all know what happened; due to King Solomon’s wisdom, he could determine the real mother by suggesting the baby be divided into two, which the real mother could not stand for (1 Kings 3:16-28). It is all thanks to the wisdom that God gave King Solomon (1 Kings 3:9). King Solomon had such great wisdom that even officials and royalty from other nations would seek his counsel.

In the New Testament, a good example that we have is Timothy. We know that Timothy was Paul’s spiritual son, and Paul mentored and discipled Timothy. That is why we have two letters to Timothy in the New Testament. Timothy was leading a church or, in other words, pastoring a church. The thing was, most of the people Timothy was leading were people who were older than he was. We all know that that is a challenging situation to be in. Imagine leading people older than you, probably have more experience in life than you do and more wisdom accumulated in life. But Paul never pointed out Timothy’s youth as something that should disqualify him when it came to leadership. Being young does not necessarily mean you cannot lead if the people under you are older. In fact, Paul said in his letter to Timothy that despite his young age he ought to set the believers an example. It shows us that it’s not just one way – where only older people get to set an example or influence people younger than they are – but young people can influence people older than they are and older people can learn from younger people (1 Timothy 4:11-12). Perhaps you are a follower of Christ and a teenager; remember, youth is never a hindrance for God to use you mightily in His kingdom.

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