Announcing ‘Jesus-Shaped Leadership’ a new small group Leadership Development Course by NAMS.
“To learn to be a disciple-making leader means to help people enter deeper into dependence upon the Lord Jesus, not ourselves.”
(NAMS Founder, Revd Canon Dr Jon Shuler)
In NAMS, we have always believed that the holy tasks of spreading the good news of Jesus and planting new churches are intimately related to the making of disciples who make disciples AND the raising up of faithful and fruitful leaders who believe and practice this passionately.
Indeed, we believe it is self-evident that the work of God’s church and kingdom cannot be accomplished without called, prepared and consecrated new leadership – who have learned to be utterly dependent on Jesus
The Jesus-Shaped Leadership course is a 7-week small group course on Jesus’ method for raising disciple-making leaders. It calls attention to the kind of leaders he modeled, incubated, trained and sent into the world.
Two free resources (A Participant course book and a Leaders/Facilitators Guide) have just been published on the resource page of our website:
(under the heading ‘Jesus-Shaped Leadership’)
Our prayer is that this short course will bring focus on the vision, values and godly methods of kingdom leadership development.
Each week’s lesson will focus on a different facet of leadership as the Scriptures and our Lord Jesus taught or instructed. It is hoped that the teaching from Scripture, personal sharing, mentoring and practical application will catalyze a culture of learning, encouragement and accountability for new and seasoned leaders alike. (The Leaders/Facilitator’s Guide will give additional information on how to run each session).
We have also released a new e-book in conjunction with the Jesus-Shaped Leadership course, also available on our resource page. It is called ‘4 Things Kingdom Leaders Do.’ You can access it directly from this link:
Please feel free to download, share and use these resources.
These are extraordinary times. Much of the world is still trying to cope with the devastating spread and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In parts of the world where NAMS has work, some of our leaders and Companions are facing unprecedented challenge. In this special post, we would like to appeal for emergency funds to help some of the most needy people in a few of our mission regions.
People who were already poor. People like Sindhu featured below – the poorest of the poor. Will you pray for them? If the Lord moves you, will you give to our COVID-19 Relief Fund? We hope to send as much as we can to our Regional Team Leaders to help with their efforts. Please read and pray.
Sindhu Mallik , aged about 60 is from Angul district of Odisha, India. He has no one looking after him and is homeless. He lives on the streets. Disabled with only one leg, he typically begs to survive. John Gansalves, our NAMS Companion, who runs a ministry to street children and is discipling young people in the area, was with a team taking relief to the poorest of the poor. He is seen here giving him a bag of food for relief. He was so surprised and was so grateful. John also had the opportunity to share the Gospel with him. Please pray and help us to help people like Sindhu.
Here are some of our other needs we have received from our regions…
- Haryana State, India. Our NAMS leader there, Pastor Prince Thomas, based in Karnal city, has asked for help with a number of labourers who are migrants in the State with their families, as they are far from their home villages in other States and require financial help to survive. They have an active movement of churches scattered throughout the State and will be able to help a few families through any donations made. There is also an urgent need to buy basic food-stuff to feed very poor families in rural villages who are daily-wage earners and now unable to work.
- Orissa State, India. Our NAMS leader in Orissa, Pastor Pranab Kishor Kumar is working to feed at least 20-30 families in two locations – in Balangir area (rural) and near the state capital of Bhubaneswar (with John Gansalves – featured above). A basic food relief packet containing rice, dhal (i.e. lentils), salt, old, potatoes, garlic, sugar and tea powder will be given to the families, to see them through 10-30 days.
- Kathmandu, Nepal. Our NAMS leader in Nepal, Pastor Tek Prasad Rijal is based just outside of the city. Because of the lockdown, they have been helping with the food needs and support of at least 25 families in their locality. Additionally, Tek is well connected to relief efforts of various other churches in the city and will be able to help from some of the funds sent.
- Nairobi, Kenya. Our NAMS leader in Kenya, Pastor Timothy Mazimpaka reports that they have been working with a group of women from Ngara Market, most of whom are the sole breadwinners in single-parent families. They have been struggling without work at the market, to feed themselves and their families. A gift of US$1,000 will enable to the 15 of so women to have basic foodstuff and support for a month or two.
- Havanna and Cienfuegos, Cuba. Our NAMS leader in Latin America is based in Temuco, Chile – Pastor Andres Casanueva. Our NAMS base there has relationship with NAMS partners in Cienfuegos and a base in Havana, Cuba, which they have been regularly supporting. Because of the COVID-19 lockdown, many of the poor families have had no recourse for help and support. We would like through our NAMS base in Chile, to send them crisis-relief funds and support for basic needs.
Please click on the ‘Donate Now’ button here or go to our website directly ( http://www.namsnetwork.com/ be-involved.html ) to donate there. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for other ways to transfer any gifts. (Please indicate ‘NAMS COVID-19 RELIEF FUND’ on the remarks column).
Dear NAMS Network and Friends,
The Anglican Bishop of South Carolina has asked me to step in, temporarily, to lead a parish here in my hometown called Christ the King/Grace Anglican Church. We will upload our Easter service to Youtube at 7:00am Sunday morning, US Eastern Standard Time. We would love to have you and your family join us. May the Spirit of God bless you and yours throughout this extraordinary Easter Season.
Servant General (NAMS)
The service can be accessed via this Facebook link:
The time for New Year’s Resolutions has come, but the mature among us know that they will rarely last the year. Does that make them vain? I think not. Better a good intention tried than never begun. Better to set a high goal and reach some of it, than never to set a goal at all. A good man once taught me: “If you have no dreams do not set goals. But if you dream dreams and do not set goals, I promise you despair.” I dream dreams, and I hope all who read this do as well. If they are dreams that have been placed in our hearts by the living God, we must resolve to reach for them.
One of my dreams is to live to see revival again.
I came to a living and true faith in just such a time. A small Anglo Catholic parish, in an out of the way University town in England, entered into a remarkable season of years when the Spirit of God was being poured out upon us. Dozens and dozens of men and women came alive in Christ Jesus. The parish was changed, the town was changed, the whole of North East England was changed, for a season.
Of course the fires of revival always die down, and they did in Durham. But not before countless lives were made new, and not before many were scattered to the wider world to take the Good News of God’s love to others. Some day I pray to be allowed to know, in heaven, the extent of the impact of that time for the spread of the kingdom of God. The thought of it gives me joy.
What might I do beyond think and pray? Revival, if it is truly from the Lord, is not the product of man made manipulation or planning. We cannot set a goal for God. But we can know his heart for the world he created. “He sent his only begotten Son into the world that all who believe might not perish, but have everlasting life.” He has spoken through the prophets and a day will come when “the earth will be covered with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the seas.” And the reason this will happen is his great love wills it. And so too does his true church.
What then of a slumbering church? Can she have a part in that great day if she is asleep? Or worse, can she have a part in that day if she is filled with cultural Christians who are not themselves reborn? Dare we speak of a church that is not reborn?
No student of the Holy Scriptures can be ignorant of the answer. The church that is the church is only made up of the reborn. There is no such thing as a “fleshly, unborn, church.” There are such men, but not such churches. No other than those called and chosen of God will see his face, when the great church triumphant is gathered around the throne of the Lamb. That is the church.
But still, with the liberty of the modern English language may we dare say it? I think so. We need the organized, visible, historic church to be reborn. God wills it.
I have been asserting that nothing but a new reformation can bring the church of Jesus Christ into alignment with God’s will for the Bride of Christ. I have shared my conviction that an internal change must come in the hearts of all leaders for this to happen, and have sketched out five internal principles for change. But I have also argued that changes are critical in the ordinary life of the local church, and have enumerated seven external principles over the last few weeks that I believe again need to be central. Let me recap these last seven, numbering them in sequence after the earlier five.
6) Obeying Jesus as Lord. Accepting the gospel of truth, by faith, that Jesus Christ died for my sins is life changing. It rearranges the way a person thinks and feels. It starts a life long journey, if the acceptance is real. But how do we know? The clearest answer is we begin to obey the plain word of the Lord Jesus. A church that does not expect and require that of leaders and followers has veered into grave error.
7) Supreme Authority From Scripture. Faithful believers are taught by the Holy Spirit of God to trust the Holy Scriptures. They come under the central authority of their Lord and his word. They devote themselves to the apostles teaching as it is recorded in the new Testament. They receive and seek to live by the moral teaching of the Old Testament, interpreted in the cross of Christ. The church stands firm here or slowly dies.
8) Worship Means Life. Worship is not music, though music helps to lift our praise. Worship is not liturgy, though good liturgy can lead us into the truth as it is in Jesus. Worship is not what we do for an hour on Sunday, though gathering on the Lord’s Day is a mark of true believers. Worship is the call on all of life to be lived for the honor and glory of God.
9) Every Believer Becoming a Discipler. To follow Jesus indefinitely, without becoming a disciple-making disciple, is unfruitfulness, and casts doubt on true faithfulness. Catechesis must include systemic discipleship, and not just knowledge. All believers should soon grow into being disciple-making disciples.
10) Every Believer Equipped to be a Minister. The central task of all the designated leaders is to equip all the members of Christ’s body, the Church, for the work of ministry assigned to them.
11) Restored Apostolic Leadership. The emerging pattern of ordered leadership that characterized the church by the end of the apostolic age, bishop, presbyters, and deacons, is to be effectively restored to the local congregation.
12) Continual Reconciliation. The culture of the church must again become a culture of forgiveness and reconciliation in the love of Christ. Without this grace is nullified.
Next Week: Missing Principles?
Used with permission, https://joncshuler.wordpress.com/
When our eyes are opened to the truth contained in the Scriptures, we soon learn that the early church was not conflict free. Godly men and women disagreed from time to time, and differences had to be addressed. Conflict sometimes erupted and tore the family of God apart. It was part of an apostolic leader’s task to seek to restore unity. But over centuries many leaders of the church have become less and less committed to this task, and that poses a dilemma: “How are believers to be reconciled?”
The simple solution to this dilemma, followed in the beginning by the faithful church, was that believers were expected to reconcile differences in the manner taught by the Lord Jesus. Those who sinned were to go to those whom they had sinned against, and seek forgiveness. Those who had ought against a brother were to go to him, and seek to be reconciled. Forgiveness was to be quickly given. In both cases, if that did not happen, they were to try again accompanied by one or two others as witnesses. If this too failed they were to take it to the church for resolution. It is time for this principle of reconciliation to be restored, first to the local church, and second to the wider family, if Christians are to be faithful to their Lord.
There are at least three levels of application that need to be addressed: interpersonal conflict between believers, conflicts within a given congregation, and conflicts between churches. Commitment to reconciliation in all three circumstances, though challenging, is absolutely necessary.
In the local church, conflicts between believers should be resolved without wider notice. It is to be part of daily discipleship. It is to be normal that committed people live with a desire to be in harmony with their brothers and sisters, and when they are not, to take the initiative to work it out. First between themselves, if possible, then with the help of their believing friends. If those two steps fail they are to “take it to the church.” But what does that mean? Once the church is too large to meet in one home it almost certainly means take it to the leadership of the local church.
What if they can not resolve the matter in private? What if it is roiling the whole local body? Then the local leadership must step in lovingly but forcefully. It is their sacred duty to work to resolve the situation, with clear submission required by all to the gospel of Truth. It may even (rarely) require a gathering of the whole local body. In extreme cases they may require the help of godly oversight beyond the local congregation.
It should be no different when the conflict is between two or more local congregations. Resolution must be sought by the senior leaders, following the same rules that Jesus gave. If the two do not resolve the conflict, they bring in a third or fourth. If that is not sufficient, they take it higher, first in their city or region, and then (if necessary) to their whole movement. If there is to be unity, as the Lord commands, there must be devotion to the principle of reconciliation. Unity is not an option if reformation is to come!
Next Week: Recapping the Seven (Corporate) Principles
Used with permission, https://joncshuler.wordpress.com/