Good leaders are like training wheels on a bicycle. They are a indispensable to get you started, but they’re removed once you’re able to ride on your own.
The transition away from training wheels can be scary, but it’s exhilarating to discover you can succeed without them. You can travel farther, faster, and have lots more fun on the journey.
Good parenting is the same way. Newborn babies are utterly dependent on their parents for their very survival. But gradually they mature and become self-sufficient, able to navigate life on their own. Wise parents understand this process. They are willing to remove the training wheels at the appropriate time, even though this involves a certain degree of risk.
However, some leaders—and some parents—insist on keeping the training wheels on for too long. Either they are fearful of an accident, or they simply love the sense of being “needed” by those they lead.
Ephesians 4:11-12 says leaders are called “to equip God’s people to do his work.” You see, the purpose of “training” wheels is to train people to ride without them. Do you see the parallel here?
Any other kind of leadership is self-serving and even toxic. Wise leaders and wise parents will resist the urge to create a culture of dependency. Like a mother eagle, they will prepare the next generation to FLY!
Of course, some people don’t want their training wheels removed. They are scared to ride through life without constant supervision and control. No wonder there are so many codependent families and churches—not to mention codependent politicians and their constituents.
As you assess your own relationships today, consider taking a step of faith and removing some of the training wheels. Entrust yourself and the people you are leading to God (Acts 20:32). Yes, some oversight and accountability may still be needed, but learn to maximize freedom. Teach people to depend on the Lord instead of on you.
This is the only way people can soar into their destiny. I don’t think you’ll see any training wheels in heaven.