Word from the President of Crossing Cultures International
Recently, while visiting a training class in East Asia, Mindy and I asked what had impacted their lives the most during the first few months of studying the courses Bible Study Methods and OT Survey. The ten students who had gathered for lunch with us included various ministry leaders and the main leaders of the church. The most two common testimonies were that God had impacted their lives through the example of the teacher and the camaraderie during the class sessions. As they met and studied together, they encouraged and stimulated and held one another accountable. The teacher’s life was a testimony to them as a powerful example of the lessons being taught.
We left the USA on August 14 and have visited staff and training classes and have lead two Teacher Training Workshops (TTW) in Malaysia and Indonesia. During the TTW in Indonesia, one participant during his model teaching biblical discipleship compared discipleship to what Kung Fu masters did in Ancient China. A student who wanted to learn Kung Fu would live with his teacher for up to 20 years. He would work for his teacher and get to know his teacher. Once he knew his teacher, he could begin learning the art of Kung Fu.
In the Western world, we reduce learning to information. Just get the right information to the people and voila, you have trained church leaders. However, it’s not that simple. Jesus said, “Everyone who is full trained will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40). The Bible is an ancient book with relevant truths today. There are no short cuts in leadership training and discipleship. It’s not just a matter of learning material.
Effective discipleship and training takes place in the context of a close relationship with someone who walks with Christ and lives out consistently a transformed life. Not only did ancient Kung Fu teach this, but the Bible does this as well. We learn the most important lessons in life through a godly, servant leader. Jesus did not simply give a theology book to His disciples. He lived with them for 3 years. Joshua walked with Moses for 4o years. Effective leadership development occurs in the context of life-on-life training. There is still power in a godly life. “Follow me as I follow Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1). I hope you can say this to those you are training. Let us search our hearts to see if we are that example of a transformed life and making disciples as Jesus commanded us to do.
– Dr. David Nelson
President & Founder of CCI
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