This session is being live-translated so it was a little bit more difficult to take effective notes – apologies if these aren’t a full record but it was an interesting session with Durvalina Bezerra.
We started the session from the position of a broken world.
Our personal life is linked to our practice and vice versa which is built by our identity with God which will then in turn show God to the world. We need to check our vocation and calling – God’s first calling on our lives is that we will be a disciple of his, and leadership follows this.
Preserve our intellectual integrity:
This intellectual integrity will show what our values, principles, and motivations are. We have potential to see the world through Kingdom values and Christ’s character. Mental integrity is developed when we start to build within ourselves a Christian mind. It causes us to think vertically – according to God’s thoughts and Word – so we need to know thoroughly the Scriptures – seeing beyond method-logical studies of scripture and understanding what God is really saying to us. We also need to use the meta-narrative and not just studying small chunks of scripture that fits with the thoughts we’ve already had. The Word of God forms our Christian conscience.
Our leaders must live the integral truth that they say. Spiritual growth is a sign of growing in leadership, people like Richard Forster have been key in this. So we need to ask are we really being what we say we are – it’s difficult for a leader to be this honest. When we’re leader servants and servant leaders we can deal with this with more transparency – it’s not easy but the Holy Spirit who calls us into leadership will encourage us.
Preserve the integrity of our emotions:
We must never think that integrity is a public thing – it is also the work in our hearts. We should be clear between emotions, feelings and emotionalism. As God’s children we identify with his Father’s heart for us. How can I speak of God’s love for example, if my heart is not in tune with God’s heart. We should take pleasure in God’s plans for us.
Leadership is a very hard job, it’s difficult to lead people, we can prepare programmes and more but we need to ensure we don’t lose the Lord’s joy as we do the work.
We must also develop spiritual sensitivity to others – bearing in mind how God deals with individuals. The Lord has a specific clear profile for each person and He gives to each one individually.
Leadership is a result of life. It is painful and hard-work and yet on the other side there is a joy as we worship. Integrity of the mind and of the heart results in an authentically Christian attitude in leadership.
A leadership crisis in Africa meaning more leaders are beginning to leave – what should we do? Develop mentoring because that provides support to leaders who are struggling, and even if they aren’t the best mentor it provides an opportunity to share ideas and for the mentee to possibly resolve the issue themselves.
Is it possible to mentor over long distances, e.g. through Skype etc.? Yes, this is used a lot on the mission field, but if we’re at all possible to have a physical relationship that’s better. It must happen at least once a month.
Often there is a pressure to perform which can put younger leaders off, how do we deal with it? It’s not just young leaders who struggle with this but understanding servant-leadership can really help in this area.
How can evaluation be done better? In a large church it is best to do it on paper with a smaller group, being clear what your aims are
What is the international evangelical community doing to support the mentoring of leaders and pastors and who can pastor the pastors? In Brazil we have a ministry called pasturing pastors so once a year there is a big meeting of all the pastors and leaders where they are trained on mentoring and if that doesn’t exist in your country maybe you yourself could start that by praying and sharing with another leader.
Often we don’t train another person to succeed us, so how do we train others to take on our leadership roles? We must disciple people because when I disciple someone I identify with the other person but we haven’t touched on discipleship today. In 21st century we’re not good at one-to-one disicpling or small-group development.