WISE INTENTIONAL LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
Volume 11, Number 6 – JUNE, 2017
Greetings. The month of May has quickly passed as it has been a very good time with Rev. Henry Mukonda – WILD Regional Director for Southern Africa. (Please read what Rev. Mukonda shared about WILD at the end of this Email.) Our contacts were many for WILD and in numerous cases, deepened. The WILD spiritual leadership training has become a spiritual force in areas where recent trainings have occurred. In one training, the oldest pastor there said that he found the (WILD) material very relevant and essential in directing leaders back to the Bible and to God’s agenda. He said that those leaders who had judged us by age and decided not to attend had lost out on valuable insights and necessary development. God is working. Keep praying for one another and WILD. Mike
KNOWING JESUS DEVELOPS MORAL COURAGE
John in 1 John 2 addresses three degrees of Christian growth for all believers;
children, young men and fathers. The goal is to mature to the level of a father or parent. In Philippians 3, Paul spoke of a level of maturity to which Christians should strive for. “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.” (verses 10-11).
God is seeking Christians who are pursuing a level of spiritual maturity that reveals wisdom and understanding of who Jesus is and who live out aspects of His character as much as humanly possible. As was discussed last month, moral courage and authority falters if we are not pursuing to intimately know Jesus deeper each day. John calls some Christians “fathers” because they know Jesus. Our number priority as believers is to intimately know and gain in spiritual understanding of Jesus. Everything else on earth is impacted by that priority.
To become a better individual, spouse, parent, employee, boss, student or whomever is dependent on that priority. You can read all the self-help books and attend all the self-development seminars there are in the world and if you are not actively pursuing knowing Jesus, you will fall short of your goal. Heart knowledge (and definitely not just head knowledge) and understanding of the Word of God, interacting constantly with the Spirit and actively seeking a humble attitude (which allows you to be a servant to anyone you come into contact with) leads to intimacy with Jesus.
Learning all the WILD material is simply knowledge unless it leads you to intimacy with Jesus. A growing, spiritual leader results in a growing intimacy with Jesus. That intimacy develops as you and I obey Jesus; as we learn and understand the Word of God more deeply, opportunities to obediently live out what we learn come about.
The world has seen many courageous leaders but the world has not seen as many moral courageous leaders. Being moral is based in the absolute truth of the Word which reveals the nature of God Himself. We all know there are more and more false teachers and “prophets” proclaiming whatever in our world today. The litmus test is how well do these false teachers as well as any of us know Jesus.
The level of moral courage and authority development separates great spiritual leaders from good spiritual leaders. Moral authority clearly separates false leaders from true leaders. My hunch is great moral courage leaders do not put themselves into such a category because their attitude is one of humility, following Proverbs 27:2, “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else and not your own lips.”
God desires to have an intimate relationship with all His children. He calls us to grow in our maturity to become parents or ”fathers” as John describes that degree of maturity. Parents are to guide and help develop the children that have been placed under their responsibility and influence. Finally the questions beckon to be asked. “Are you maturing in your faith to either become a parent or to strengthen your maturity to continue on at that level?” And “Who are you willing to parent, to help younger believers attain parenthood?”
YOUTH MINISTRY – BEING A HUMBLE PERSON
Compare these two personalities. From one, “It’s hard to be humble when you’re as great as I am.” “Braggin’ is when a person says something and can’t do it. I do what I say.” “I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.” “At home I am a nice guy: but I don’t want the world to know. Humble people, I’ve found, don’t get very far.”
From the other, “, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.” “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not only me but also my Father who sent me.”
Have you figured out who the two people are? The first is Muhammad Ali, considered by many the greatest boxer ever (or at least in the late 1960 through 1970’s) and the second is Jesus. When you compare the quotes (Jesus’ come from Mark 9:33-37), what does they say about the two people? In reality, Muhammad Ali also said very positive things like, “Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.”. That is a quality statement. As he came to the end of his life, which ended in 2016, his heart was much more humble and he also suffered from a 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Jesus was humble and the greatest man ever (and at the same time was God). He was also the most power person ever on earth. Two contrasting attitudes from two people who impacted masses of people. What does it mean to be humble? Can you be a competitive person and at the same time, be a humble person?
People may have the wrong understanding of being humble. It does not mean that a person thinks that he/she is no good and others are better or you have to beg or grovel in front of others. In being humble you know who are in your relationship with Jesus and you are comfortable with who you are. You are free of pride and arrogance, being yourself in any situation you find yourself.
You can stand up for what is right and for your rights and have no problem putting other people first like Jesus did (Philippians 2:3-11). There is a sincere acknowledgement that you know that you cannot live life without God’s help because of how difficult life is, allowing God’s strength and power to resonate through you. Your talents and abilities are gifts from God and He deserve the credit for your accomplishments. Living life being gracious, loving and forgiving are attributes of your life (Ephesians 4:31-32). When it comes to sports and competition, you give it all but know you are no better than anyone else.
It is not easy to be around egotistical, prideful people. Pride can show up in false humility where people “do not want to talk about themselves” but the focus ends up being on them. After a short while, all you want to do is get away from such people. Do not be a person no one wants to be around!
Being around a humble person is refreshing. Follow the advice of Proverbs 27:2, “Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth – a stranger, not your own lips.” In other words, go and follow through on your responsibilities to the best of your abilities and then let others toot your horn! Work hard to show the nature and attributes of Jesus before others. Shine for Jesus.
INSIGHTS FROM REV. HENRY MUKONDA
WHAT IS WILD?
When I was asked to describe Wise Intentional Leadership Development (WILD) it was not enough to just say; It is an interdenominational, International Christian Organization. It started in Rhinelander and has presence in Asia and Africa. What is important to me is the role that WILD is playing in the Body of Christ in the World. My description of WILD will be as follows;
When the apostle Paul told Timothy to do ministry he told him to find faithful men who will be qualified to teach others to do ministry (2Tim.2:2). This is not just pointing to formal training institutions where we graduate with papers that we display to show the world which institution I went to but it is much more. It is the idea of living a life with people such that you can enter their lives and discover who they really are. Searching for faithful men is a long-life commitment. Faithfulness is not discovered in a day. It takes a long time and a lot of activities and experiences to know if someone was faithful or not.
WILD focuses to teach on character transformation. Church leadership or better still Spiritual Leadership; rises, builds and falls on the principal of character transformation. Those that had an encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ were seen from the change of their character, not just on how much theological understanding they had received from Jesus. The key word in the acronym (WILD) is INTENTIONAL. WILD intentionally targets Christian leaders who may have some training or none to equip and empower them for ministry in their areas. WILD highlights or points at the customs, culture and traditions of the people (Including church ones) that they have accepted to be right verses the Biblical standards that God has put in place for spiritual leadership.
An example in this case can be; How does one become a leader in a local church? In each society, it is different. Some it is just because of the; age, wealth, education and so on. This has slowly slipped in the church or in spiritual leadership, People have become “spiritual leaders” by those qualifications which are not biblical at all. God does not look from the outside or the social standing of somebody in the community, He looks at the heart and we should know what the heart is. It is character
WILD has been invited to many countries by the pastors and church leaders who have seen the need for spiritual leadership development. There are many churches that are being established all over Africa where the “founder” is the everything. There is no discipleship of any kind but they have what they call “Anointing services”. Hundreds if not thousands attend these churches but they are not disciple in any way. WILD take the training to the door steps of these people so that they can be trained. These trainings can take a period of 3 to 5 days but the impact is very real and amazing.
We have had confessions from the preachers themselves that they were doing things the wrong way now they will do it the right way. The training demands that what one learns he or she must teach it to another person, and as they progress from one level to another, they should be qualified to teacher in a bigger group after they have done a “trainer of trainers’ course”. The materials are simple and easy to translate in the language of the people. The zeal to translate the materials has grown among the pastors. You and I know that a translator takes time to read and reread the material to understand the concept before he takes in another language. This helps the translator to know the material better. (Part 2 of Rev. Mukonda’s message will be in next Titus Email.)