In 1 Kings 19:19 we see the prophet Elijah in the Bible pass his mantle to his student Elisha. “Elijah left there and located Shaphat’s son Elisha, who was plowing, along with a total of twelve pairs of oxen. (He was plowing with the twelfth pair.) As Elijah passed by, he tossed his cloak at Elisha.”
In the Old Testament days, a mantle was an outer cloak or an article of clothing. A mantle was normally made out of animal skin. It was meant to cover a person to keep them warm.
When you look at this in the natural you’ll notice the mantle was used to cover a person, but the mantle also can refer to spiritual covering. Mantles can represent spiritual anointing and authority. We see Elijah pass his mantle to Elisha. Elijah was willing to allow this young man to do life with him. This was deeper than what we normally consider “MENTORING.” Elijah had a vested interest in Elisha.
Elijah was a prophet who allowed Elisha to be his student or disciple. Elisha studied under him, and wanted to be just like Elijah. Before Elijah left the earth Elisha asked him for double of his spirit.
Before Elijah was translated into heaven, he said; “‘Ask what I shall do for you before I am taken from you.’ And Elisha said, ‘Please, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.'” (2 Kings 2:9) It was Elijah’s mantle which proved whether or not Elisha received his request.
Elijah told him; “‘You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.'” (Verse 10) Elisha did see Elijah leave in a chariot of fire. He then tore his own garment in two pieces and “took up the mantle of Elijah that fell from him.” (Verse 13) Thereafter, he also took up the work of his spiritual father and operated in his anointing.
Young leaders are having difficulties with those who have been in the system for a while. We are at a leadership dilemma. Many of our great leaders are starting to fade into the sunset. They have worked hard to do great things on this earth. Many of these great leaders WILL NOT pass the baton to the younger generation.
Effective leaders always find their replacement. Just like the Prophet Elijah. He was not only willing to pass the mantle, but he was willing to train/ teach Elisha how to do greater works. Effective leaders create a session plan. Many great leaders run an amazing race, but they go to the grave with the baton in their hands. Young leaders are not getting mentored effectively.
Young leaders are now having to dig up the great leaders grave, open the casket, and pry the baton out of the leader’s hands. This is the heart of young leaders. I speak on behalf of the young generation. We need older leaders to invest with time and energy. We need them to teach and pass the baton. Too many leaders are willing to die with the position than to pass it on. Young leaders need you! What are you doing with your mantle?