Young Eagles: Encouraging and Keeping Humble

When developing young eagles in your organization, it can be difficult to know how much to encourage and how much to steer. Larry shares how to balance the two in the next video of the Young Eagles free video series.

Hey, this is Larry Osborne again. And we’re continuing our look at what it takes to find, develop, and release young eagles within your ministry and your organization. And one of the things that’s kind of a difficult area and a nuanced area of leadership, is to figure out the balance between encouraging, and keeping humble.

And I have found that one of the most important things that I can do with a young eagle, as they are getting upfront opportunities of ministry, is to, on the front end, and this is very important, on the front end, help them understand, the difference between encouragement and an honest critique.

Think of the person who maybe sings in public for the first time. Or the young leader that gets an opportunity to preach or speak for the first time. What actually happens is, if they’re decent at all, is that they get tons of praise. And if you’re not careful, they will believe that praise is honesty.

What people are actually saying is, “You were better that I thought.” And if I tell people that on the back side, after all of that praise, it comes off as if I’m trying to pour cold water all over their parade, or maybe I’m jealous of the praise that they got. I learned this principle when I was a youth pastor.

There was a particular speaker at the main camp we would go to that every other church tried to sign up for that week to get that speaker. And I would take all of my interns and I would say, “I want you to watch,” his name was Ron. “I want you to watch what happens to Ron after he finishes.” And he would finish talking, they’d be a few people that would come up to him, and not much else. And I would point out to my interns, “The reason people aren’t flocking to Ron to tell him what a great job he had done was because they expected him to do a great job.” They knew he was wonderful. But, if he’d been a rookie for the first time, and people had known that, everybody would have flocked to say, “Oh, that was wonderful! That was wonderful!” And the human nature is to believe that.

You see those first encouragements are not critiques. And if we don’t tell that to young eagles, who are already doing well, and usually have some pretty good self-confidence, what can easily happen is, that self-confidence can move into a sense of pride.

So, front end, there’s a big difference between encouragement, which I wanna give a lot of, and critique. Make sure your young eagles know the difference.

This video is part of the Young Eagles series available for free on YouTube, To watch the video, click below.