lead like Jesus

A Testimony

Last week we received a copy of the following email sent out to the global “GProCommission” network of pastoral trainers.

Kenyan Churches Strengthened with MentorLink Resources

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“With explosive numeric growth but few trained pastors, Christ’s Church in the great continent of Africa has been described by African leaders as “a mile wide and an inch deep”—a description which can fit many congregations anywhere. Kenyan pastoral trainer Pastor Alia Tasse rejoices over the rampant church planting in Africa. At the same time,​ he is concerned about the lack of theologically sound, trained pastors to lead these multiplying but fledgling church plants. Discipleship is vital to the survival and health of the local church, especially since many new believers face persecution from their family members, communities and even extremist groups.

In the face of this great need, the Lord led Pastor Tasse to launch a pastoral training center for both rural and urban pastors called Lifeway Mission International (LMI). LMI is “passionately committed to making disciples who make disciples by engaging with local communities to meet the immediate needs of the people.”

When Pastor Tasse conceived of LMI over twenty years ago, his region of Northern Kenya was home to 22 unreached people groups. Now LMI is working with 26 unreached people groups while operating in thirty countries. They have assisted indigenous groups in the planting of over 10,000 churches–churches which have impacted over 500,000 unreached people –and they train approximately 4,000 pastors yearly. LMI utilizes two instrumental training resources from MentorLink International, which are character driven and based on the life and leadership of Jesus.

Watch or read our interview with Pastor Tasse, access free downloads of the MentorLink International resources, and let us know what action steps you feel prompted to take in your own discipleship efforts, so we can encourage you.”

Maranatha (Come, Lord Jesus)
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False Leaders

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Paul said, “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do:
forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:12-14)

Those of us who participated in the committee that authored the False Leaders document, feel like Paul. We have become far more aware of our motives, our actions, our impact on the people we serve and what we teach.

None of us has attained perfection, but we are more determined, by His grace, to be more like Jesus in the way we lead, what we teach and how we treat people.

With this in mind, we invite you to download and read it. We are each looking inward as we compare ourselves to Jesus’ standards.

We also invite you to pass this around as a resource to people you think might value it for their own life or ministry.

Here is the link to the False Leaders page.

Maranatha (Come, Lord Jesus)
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Leadership in the Kingdom of God

Leadership in the kingdom of God is much like a rafting trip. It’s the big-picture view that will keep us moving forward, facing the rapids of opposition or sinful pride or our own nagging sense of inadequacy. Without perspective, we may not be able to get down that river well–or guide and shepherd others.

We are living in a time when it’s particularly hard to get a perspective on leading God’s people in a way Jesus would recognize. The clamor is for big numbers and quick results. Offering a cup of cold water to the least of these does not build a reputation for success, not in this current climate. The pressure is to be the hero, the strong leader who won’t take “no,” or the guy who’s the boss.

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Where is our faith in the power of the Gospel, rather than sheer human effort?

Much like my Grand Canyon trip, we can begin this journey of being a leader–a Christian leader– with the best of intentions and high ideals, but this does not sustain. When the going gets rough, we will feel swamped, and the tendency is to do what comes naturally: dominate and control, go with the flow of what other leaders around us do. We will strive to be the hero, the focus of people’s attention, and the leader of a vibrant ministry organization or church.

“Jesus, for the joy set before Him, endured the cross…” the write of Hebrews said. In other words, this big-picture view of eternity with the Father and hearing Him say, “Well done,” was the motivation and the prize. Even for Christ. Some people call this an “eternal perspective.” It’s not unlike that beautiful big-picture view of the Grand Canyon that kept me paddling and hiking up a canyon wall. The reality that we will stand before Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, shapes our perspective on what it means to lead as Christ led.

Before I became a Christ follower, the idea of leading–and leading well–captivated me. As a manager I was trained to think in terms of an even wider variety of accomplishments. In the military I learned to measure success by position. But when I read the life of Jesus and began to follow Him, God turned many of those ideas upside down.

The Need of the Hour

dad_arm around kidWarm greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The heart cry from emerging leaders around the world who want someone to serve as a spiritual mentor to them is getting louder. This longing cuts across cultures. In 2006, I attended a Younger Leaders Gathering hosted by the global Lausanne Movement with 550 younger leaders from 110 nations in attendance. With one voice, they by-passed the big name speakers and declared the biggest need they had was that of a mentor. That voice is becoming louder.

I cannot say this loud enough. Mentors who build into emerging leaders to lead like Jesus are the global need of the hour. This is as true in your world, where you live work and play, as it is in mine. My experience is that a small investment in the life of a younger leader pays dividends in their life for years to come.

Actually, we are not discovering something new nor inventing this on our own. We in believe that the way Jesus developed leaders is just as relevant now as it was then. It is our model of mentoring. Facilitating mentor groups is going back to the future. Jesus’ way is timeless.

You don’t need to be an expert. You don’t need to teach. You don’t need to know all the answers. In fact we are all on the journey to lead like Jesus. What you do need is a heart to serve and make a difference with a few. The Spirit will use you in amazing ways.

I challenge you to prayerfully consider partnering with the Spirit’s work in our day and taking initiative to help build emerging leaders who lead like Jesus.

In His amazing grace,

Dr. Stacy Rinehart