One weekend a father and son decide to explore the possible truth of a local urban legend that said there was buried treasure in their backyard. (I know-sounds crazy!) They went out and rented a metal-detector, put on some work clothes and pulled out the shovels. They were ready for a fun day of exploration. The father knew the legend was just a childish myth, but was looking forward to the valuable time with his son. As they began combing the backyard with the metal-detector, they soon came upon a shocking discovery. Apparently the sonar detected something in the ground by the shed. The son was thrilled. He screamed, “It’s true! It’s true!” After an hour of digging, though, the father decided to take a break and encouraged his son to come in and get cleaned up for dinner. The son, however, kept on digging. In fact, he was so convinced there was buried treasure he kept digging until dark. Finally, after hours of digging the son’s shovel hit something solid. As he quickly moved the dirt aside, he realized he had found the treasure!! His dad came running out of the house and helped him pull the box out. His efforts had paid off!
Although this is just a story, there is a thread of reality here. Many church leaders have become so institutionalized that they have lost their Christ-like vision. Let me explain. In the story the father sees the ‘legend’ as simply a childish myth. As something that isn’t actually true. The son, however, sees things from a different perspective. His vision is open and fresh and alive. He doesn’t see a myth, but he sees potential. Many young leaders in our churches today are seeing potential in communities or people groups or other young leaders. God is giving them visions of what could be. These same visionaries are being shot down by their elders simply because those elders/leaders have lost their own ability to see potential. Where one sees potential another sees a myth. As Mark Batterson says, “Everything’s an experiment.” As you develop leaders, allow them to fail. Allow them to pursue potential. Give them the shovel – hey, even be willing to jump right into the hole with them!! Because what you see as a ‘childish myth’ may actually be the world’s next hidden treasure.