SD 2By: Shenelle Wallace

Pastor Duerre Thomas and his wife Sharai Thomas are a Dynamic husband and wife team, who aspire to lead the youth of this generation to greatness through God. Their latest book Leading Generation: Emerging as a Leader in your Generation, Is already a top seller on Get to know the authors and see why it’s imperative that you pick up a copy of this book!

So Divine: There are so many principles when it comes to leadership, how did you narrow it down to 5?

Duerre: We narrowed it down through a tedious process of what was the most important primary principles. We created what we thought were Primary and Secondary Principles of leadership that Young Emerging Leaders should grasp. The Most important part of choosing the principles was self-evaluation of our lives and ministry and what we have personally discovered over the years. Still in our early 30s, we looked at what got us to where we are today and what would have propelled us even further had we learn them much earlier. This pretty much helped the process of elimination for us, choosing these 5 primary principles for the context and audience we felt on our heart to reach.

So Divine: What was the first leadership principle each of you have learned? Was it by observation or by experience?

Duerre: The first leadership principle I learned was how to discover my purpose. This was by experience. In the book we give the principle that will help point readers in the direction of their purpose and calling. Usually a lot of young people fail to walk in the leadership ability they have because they never discover the purpose for which they were created. The life experience I had, definitely helped me recognize the first principle I believe everyone should learn. If you fail to get this principle you will fail to walk in, and understand your purpose. By default all four other principles hinge on understanding the first one.

Sharai: I believe the first leadership principle I learned was commitment by observing my parents growing up! Both my parents were leaders in the church and they were faithful to not only their position but to their relationship with Jesus Christ! They were also committed as parents making sure we knew who God was! As a leader it definitely takes commitment to fulfill your purpose and vision because the journey gets difficult at times and you need that “stickability” to weather the storm!!

So Divine: Does one decide to be a leader or are they called?

Duerre: All of us are leaders. We are all born with a potential to lead. The difference that separates leaders that emerge to make history and those who just go through life casually is having the ability to tap into that potential and allow it to be released. All of us are called to be leaders but very few answer that call. The late Dr. Myles Munroe said that “Life is not about its duration but its donation.” In other words leaders are those that make intentional deposits into the lives of others, which in turn will help them to impact their future but not only that leave a legacy and impact on History. Leading a Generation is designed to help you realize and release what’s on the inside, and it will motivate you to step out and make history!

Sharai: I believe God has called us all to make an impact in someone’s life, but I also believe we must choose to accept that calling on a daily basis! That’s why some leaders stand out more than others! You must choose to go beyond the ordinary and be extraordinary despite how you may be feeling, despite your background or history, despite the circumstances that may surround you. With God anything is possible and His strength will keep you when you are weak! The most dynamic and influential leaders are born out of adversity! There are no excuses for us not to stand out! We wrote Leading Generation with this in our hearts! We want to push you out your comfort zone so you can mature to who God wants you to be!!

So Divine: Why do you think this generation is lacking quality leaders? And what can we do about it?

 Duerre: We lack quality leaders in our generation because we have too few examples of what positive and great leadership is modeled before us. In the book we discuss the importance of “Influence.” We are all usually influenced by someone we admire and desire to be like. As a result we influence others based on those who influenced us. The sad reality is so many people we consider great leaders go to the grave without ever teaching and training others. While we all have natural inborn gifts that can help us to become leaders, unless those gifts are developed and we have models before us on how we can hone those gifts; we will fall short of realizing our potential. The evidence shows through television, music videos, sports and other visible areas of our lives that we have more negative Influencers than positive ones. So most Young people become what they see before them. We need more people such as the Obamas, and Nelson Mandela.  We need more emerging leaders like Lecrae, Myles Munroes, Andy Stanley’s, Td Jakes etc., who will not only model but mentor young people. Leading a Generation is a Personal guide that we feel will help to mentor Young people. We are transparent and personal and even have challenges for the readers to apply to their lives after a few of the chapters.

So Divine: You both have collaborated on a few books together. How do you know which topic you will write about next?

 Duerre: We are a team and honestly we have grown and mature so much into who we are together. From the time we graduated College to 9 years of marriage and four children later, we recognize that we do well together. Even in our Ministry we have always worked hand in hand. She leads worship I preach. That’s a dynamic combo.  As far as books, we just write when we feel led to do so and usually I would ask her to contribute. Most of what we write is geared towards youth and young adults because we are passionate about that

Sharai: Yes we are definitely a team! After being together for so long it gets easier to flow and sync with one another! I thank God every day for Duerre because he doesn’t ignore the gifts in me! He recognizes that I have a passion not just for music and worship but to make a significant impact in the lives of this generation by getting God’s Word out! So as God places things on his heart he never leaves me far behind and vice versa!!


To order Leading Generation: Emerging as a Leader in your Generation, click here.

To Learn more about Duerre and Sharai Thomas visit