“They are not ready…”
These may be some of the most frequently uttered words when missionaries consider passing the baton of leadership.
They can also be the most painful.
One of the leaders I work with shares the story of being a young, oppressed worker in South Africa during the time of apartheid.
A white Afrikaner man (the people group previously in power) wanted to bring him and a few others hailing from different ethnic backgrounds into a leadership meeting. At the time, this was unheard of; even in a missions organization which championed people from all nations, tribes, and tongues.
When met with resistance from the other meeting participants, the white Afrikaner suggested they at least be able to observe, even if they did not participate.
He wanted to see these young men learn and gain experience so they could step into leadership roles in the future