Who should you invest in? Even when we are willing to spend the time required for real relational investment, sometimes we have a challenge in finding the right people to mentor. 

3 Steps to Identify Young Leaders to Invest in 

mentoring younger leaders

1. Pray with your eyes open

The most essential first step, of course, is prayer. Not just, “God, bring me someone to mentor,” or “Make it someone who is interested in X issue,” but real listening prayer. Looking through your acquaintances with God, listening for the voice of the Spirit, paying attention to what he is putting on your heart. For effective prayer, ask God questions and allow time for listening. Ask him: Where are you working? In whom are you working? Where is your agenda leading? What should I be asking you? Sometimes the people we need to invest in early on—as is always the case with the younger generation of leaders—aren’t the most obvious choices for leadership. And they may be quite different than you. Open your mind to outlying possibilities and take the time necessary to reflect.  

2. Imperfection is perfect

By definition a young leader in need of development doesn’t have it all together yet. They may not already have the skills, the character, the sense of direction, etc. What we are looking for is potential. Potential is demonstrated by things like being willing to serve and being an influence on others—both those they are serving as well as peers. For example, a young person who serves in the students ministry and seems to be having an impact might be a good person to invest in, even if their skills and character are not yet fully formed. Because in the long run, that is someone likely to make a difference. We may as well help them make it a positive one. Look for people who connect with others, who work well in teams. They don’t need a particular set of spiritual gifts, interests, or ministry leanings. 

3. Be available

For potential leaders, many of them are already involved in some way with ministry, whether they are volunteers or participants. Consider the high school student who seems to bring something helpful to conversations with peers when put into small group settings. Others may not yet be involved in ministry, but seem to have an outsized impact on their peers and those around them. They are the ones others look to when asked for an opinion or a perspective. You won’t find someone to invest in without hanging around with young adults. If necessary, find a connection person: someone else who hangs out with young adults and join them. From there, engage in exploratory conversations, look for opportunities to point out the good you see in them. When you engage with young people intentionally, you start seeing opportunities that would be easily missed otherwise. You’ll find yourself starting to look differently.


As you think through how to share your wisdom with younger leaders, consider that every person is different and we all reflect God in different ways. The Discipleship Difference lays out an intentional, holistic, and relational approach to discipleship that is individualized to meet each person wherever they are. Also in Spanish.

How can you share your wisdom and experience with younger leaders? The answers are nuanced and many, so we’ll be spending a few weeks on this topic here on the Logan Leadership blog. You can search for “mentoring younger leaders” here to find the whole series when it’s completed.