OMS Outreach OMS Online January-April 2019 - Page 5

It’s been said that everything rises and falls on leadership. I think Jesus understood that. As the time approached for him to return to his Father, Jesus knew that developing those who would lead his church after him would ultimately bring glory to his Father. The prayer in John 17 suggests that by the night before his crucifixion, Jesus felt he had fulfilled this crucial part of what his Father had sent him to do. He had prepared a group of leaders who, directed and empowered by his Spirit, would change the world. Leadership is often treated like some mysterious quality or mystical power, but when you get right down to it, effective leaders do two basic things. They shape an environment, and they develop peo- ple. Robert Banks and Bernice Ledbetter write that leadership consists of “aligning people by translating vision and values into understandable and attainable acts.” Jesus shaped a new culture for his new community, the church. He showed them what to do, he taught them how to do what he did, he did it with them, and then he sent them out to do it on their own. All disciples of Jesus are called to use their gifts, abilities, and resources in ministry. But like Jesus, effective Christian leaders never do ministry alone; instead, they en- gage in ministry alongside those they are developing in order to multiply the impact of the ministry beyond their own personal limitations. The authors of the modern bestseller The Leadership Challenge report that people around the world say they are willing to follow leaders who are hon- est, competent, inspiring, and forward- looking. They also write that those who lead others in pioneering, world-chang- ing journeys typically do so by model- ing the way forward, inspiring people to see a preferred future, challenging the process, enabling others to act, and en- couraging the hearts of their followers. From this, we conclude that effective leadership flows from a blend of per- sonal character, strategic thinking, and relational intelligence, as well as some specific skills. That shouldn’t be news to us. On one hand, the New Testament epistles list leadership among the gifts of the Holy Spirit for building up the church and extending the kingdom of God. On the other hand, the Gospels and the book of Acts demonstrate that people of any age, education, temperament, cultural background, or gender can, under the influence of the Holy Spirit and leaders who invest in them, grow to become ef- fective leaders who develop other lead- ers (2 Timothy 2:2). Today, we live in times of breathtak- ing global change. The center of the Christian movement is shifting east and south, and exciting new opportu- nities are opening up for the Gospel to reach more and more of the unreached people groups of the world. They will be reached in large part by cross-cultural workers from places where OMS mis- sionaries helped the sons and daugh- ters reach their own. Now, workers from these same countries are reaching the lost in places where Western missionar- ies cannot go, while also infusing fresh spiritual life and energy into Europe and North America as they minister among their countrymen there. Who will lead the thousands of new churches spring- ing up and the movements going from anywhere to everywhere to reach a bil- lion people and beyond? At One Mission Society, we believe that the power of the Gospel, in the hands of disciple-makers, will transform all na- tions. We believe that God has called us and our partners around the world to catalyze multiplying missionary move- ments through the development of godly, competent cross-cultural leaders. We be- lieve that in these days, there is no higher strategic priority for us as an organization. We long to be able to say to the Father, as Jesus did, “(We) glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave [us] to do” (John 17:4 ESV). 5