One of the greatest joys of my role is seeing what leaders accomplish after their arrow experience. It’s a massive win for me to see leaders who have walked through the Arrow program release their potential, step up and enter roles and leadership opportunities they never would have seen coming when they started their Arrow journey.

This joy motivates me to continue moulding the program to offer what leaders need today to lead in the future. My heart for every leader that comes through the emerging leader’s program is that they will find longevity in leadership, that their calling will go beyond their current assignment, and they will lead faithfully until God calls them home.

This means I need to think about future leadership in Australia and how we can meet their needs today. I heard someone say recently that, because of technological advances, we live in a time where we have no idea what jobs we will need, so it’s a tough time to discern how to develop the future workforce. Having worked alongside several incredible young, emerging leaders through my work at Arrow and beyond in the past decade, I’m willing to make some predictions about what future leaders will be like.

Future Forward

The rate of change that this generation has experienced is incomparable. The impact of technology, global connectivity, and a pandemic has increased the rate of change and birthed a new method of instigating change – disruption.

These shifts in a generation’s view of change has borne a swell of leaders with new vision defined by creativity and entrepreneurialism. Future leaders are forward-thinking and keen to change how things are done to ensure the longevity of the enterprise God has entrusted to them.

Future Sensible

While I see many leaders disenchanted by the adage “this is the way it has always been, so why change it” and a hunger to see things change. Future leaders will have a different approach to change that is far more sensible than we have seen in the past or even given them credit for. Gen Z are focused on social issues and healthy living and prefer to engage in conversation and collaboration over the egotistically driven leadership drive that we have seen the rise and fall of in the past.

They are also subjective in their approach to learning. They are not keen on being dictated to what to think or given perceived black-and-white options. Instead, they prefer guidance, coaching or leadership in organising the information they process. They strive to independently formulate their thoughts, shaping ideas, options, perspectives, ideologies and solutions.

Future Anxious

It’s no secret that mental health is a concern for the emerging generations. In some ways, we have just given language and accessibility to something people have experienced for all of time. Still, there is a significant anxiety felt by most emerging leaders in our midst. There are many contributing factors – social media, a global pandemic, the pace of change in our communities and family, social and economic pressures felt acutely by young people.

In my experience, leaders are increasingly anxious about what the future holds and whether their dreams for the Church and themselves are possible. They feel an incredible amount of pressure to be successful in all things and to not stand out in the crowd enough to warrant attention, which might be their downfall – it’s complicated. It will be a significant road to travel with leaders into the future.

Future Unreligious

We all know that Gen Z is less religious than any other generation, but studies are finding that most young people’s faith connection is getting further and further away. Where you might have heard a young person say their parents (or someone in their parents’ generation) were the Christian they knew in the past; it’s now their grandparents’ generation who are their faith connection. Unsurprisingly, the average Gen Z is less likely than previous generations to be familiar with the Bible or believe it contains everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life.

 This opens an incredible opportunity for future leaders to embrace peer evangelism. Utilising shared concern for who I am, what healthy success looks like, and how I healthily handle failure. Future leaders will swing the pendulum of evangelism back from institutional to personal impact.

Future Needs

 So, what do these incredible young leaders need? A lot. But here are a few simple things to think about…

  1. Formation

This is key to the success of these leaders. Incoming generations need access to a community-based, collaborative approach to personal development and formation. 

  1. Mentors

These leaders need someone (or maybe a few someones) to walk beside them. Not to instruct but to coach, lean into and, most importantly, encourage and pray for them. 

  1. Development

The pressure these leaders feel requires them to have a posture of learning, and they need excellent leadership development to help position them for the future and all the great things God will entrust to them.

The Future with Arrow Leadership

The good news…. Arrow leadership can do all this! Arrow is committed to nurturing and empowering the next generation of leaders in churches, schools, and organisations across Australia. We aim to equip emerging leaders with the skills, knowledge, and support they need to thrive in an ever-changing world. Together, we will embark on a journey of growth, discovery, and transformation, shaping a future where great leaders find longevity in their call to Christian leadership. Exciting times lie ahead, and we are honoured to be a part of this remarkable journey. 

Cath Tallack

Emerging Leaders and Rise Program Director

Cath joined Arrow Leadership in 2017 as the Emerging Leaders Program Director. She began pastoral ministry at Gateway Baptist Church as the Children’s Pastor in 2009 and as Generations Pastor. Cath is passionate about seeing leaders developed and be given the opportunities to achieve the potential that God has placed within them. Cath is married to Michael, who is a doctor and together they are parents to Henry and Oliver.