How long does it take to be good at something? Malcolm Gladwell thinks 10,000 hours:

Gladwell’s idea seems important for Christian leaders and the institutions and churches they serve. Yes, he debunks the “innate” genius myth and implies that perseverance is a key character trait of people who do remarkable, creative work. That ought to give a bit of hope to the young preacher, scholar or nonprofit leader who doesn’t think they’re any good. Well, you’re not supposed to be. Wait ten years, and in the mean time, keep plugging away.

But the implications of this are even more significant for how we assess people’s potential, and in particular, how we structure our institutions so people have the opportunity and time to develop.

Think about your own institution, denomination, school or congregation and how Gladwell’s idea might change both the way you evaluate folks and design opportunities for them to flourish over time.

Benjamin McNutt is the editor of Call & Response. You can follow him on Twitter @benjaminmcnutt.