4 Leadership Challenges Today’s Grads Need to Hear

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Updated from May 16, 2013 post

I am traveling in Brazil with Bill Hybels this month, as Bill brings leadership coaching to leaders across the country.

But even as we pour into leaders here, our thoughts are also with a new generation of leaders emerging from colleges and universities around the world, preparing to take on new roles and new challenges.

And, as I’ve written here previously, it has me asking the question, “In a world starving for Godly leadership, what would I say to the upcoming crop of college graduates?”

 1.   If you’ve been given the spiritual gift of leadership, then for God’s sake lead

This well-known leadership axiom has never needed more urgent application than today. What the world needs more than anything is fired up young people ready to take their leadership gifts out into the world to make a difference.

 2.   Learn the difference between a job, a career, and a call

Most grads will look for a great job. Some will aspire to a fulfilling career. But be among the select few who discern God’s call on their life, and pursue it with everything you have. Remember, God’s call is not limited to missionaries and pastors.

3.   Buck the trend- Engage in your local church more rigorously than ever

You are a part of a missing generation in most local churches. There is an unfortunate exodus from the local church for far too many sharp young adults. Resolve now to be a champion of your church, and if you move to a new city, make connecting to a local church your first priority.

4.   Devote yourself to fulfilling Jesus’ prayer; “Your Kingdom come…”

Where ever you go, view the world with a “Kingdom lens”. Whatever you see that is inconsistent with God’s desire for the world, take the lead and make it right.

When I look at many of today’s graduates in my circles, it fills me with optimism. Our world can be left in very strong hands with some of these Kingdom-minded leaders who are about to take their next step.

So, let me urge you to cheer these young people on, and challenge them to be all God has called them to be.

If they accept these challenges, the future can look very bright indeed.

What would you say to these graduates?

the author

Scott Cochrane

Vice President- International, Global Leadership Network. Love Jesus, Nora, Adam & Robin, Amy, Dave, Willow & Olive and John, Fiona & Will. Lifelong learner.


  1. Great post Scott!

    This point resonated loudest… Remember, God’s call is not limited to missionaries and pastors. – We are called to reflect Him and bloom where we are planted.

    I’ve seen so many churches value only what is done within their walls instead of encouraging and equipping people to make a difference wherever their careers, schools, or families take them.

  2. Thanks Cheryl.

    One of our faculty at the 2014 Global Leadership Summit was Allen Kagina, a brave Christian woman who took over the completely corrupt internal revenue service of Uganda, and utterly transformed it into a beacon of integrity.

    And she did all of this out of a sense of a God-given call on her life.

    Wouldn’t it be something if grads everywhere embraced this kind of mission!

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