Why Is Developing Leaders So Important?
Here are four reasons why World Outreach International provides leadership training seminars.
1. Because leaders need encouragement
As we were leaving a recent seminar near Beirut, one of the Lebanese pastors pulled me aside and whispered, “I just want you to know that I was going to give up (the ministry) today! But because of what you’ve said, I will keep going. You have no idea of the impact of your words!”
I have heard these words over and over again in many different parts of the world. We sometimes underestimate the emotional, spiritual and physical toll that ministry takes on pastors. Training is a great source of life-giving hope and encouragement.
2. Because leaders need relevant teaching
A prominent pastor from Jordan told me, “We have so many seminars in our country. Some big names and big ministries come. We receive lots of points. But when we leave, nothing changes. What they say is good, but doesn’t relate to where we’re at. This teaching and training is different. It is relevant, applicable and full of examples that we can relate to. This is a seminar like no other.”
3. Because leaders need ministry
I recently received an email from a Nepali pastor who attended our seminar. He wrote how he “reluctantly came” to the seminar even though he was “so discouraged at the time”. “But”, he continued, “as I was attentively listening to the message that was being interpreted into our own mother tongue, Tharu, I could sense the power coming upon me and I felt the touch of Jesus. At that moment I could not stop myself; tears of joy were falling down my cheeks. And as I was offering a word of thanks to my God, I said to myself, ‘If I continued to be stubborn and not come to this conference, I would have missed this very special blessing forever’.”
4. Because leaders need to be equipped so they know how to equip others
In many parts of the world, there is little or no intentional development of younger leaders. In Jordan last year, Philip (Damascus, Syria) told me, “There is no teaching like this in Syria, so it can take 20–30 years before someone can get into ministry. This type of seminar will accelerate the equipping of leaders by years.” One of the primary reasons why there is no training of emerging leaders is that many older leaders don’t know how. Our seminars are vital because we provide the keys for how leaders of all ages can develop other leaders.
International Director of World Outreach since January 2017.
Bruce has been married to Fiona since 1983 and lives in Melbourne. They have three grown children and one granddaughter.