Healthy leaders lead to healthy churches. Healthy churches lead to deeper relationships with Christ and growth of God’s kingdom. But who ministers to the minister?
In the spring, Steve and Jan Griswell, OC workers in Mexico, led a two-day pastors and wives retreat for the national Presbyterian churches in Morelos, Mexico. “Fourteen couples came, from small rural churches to mid-sized churches from larger cities. Some had been in ministry for 30 years or more; one couple is newly married and in their first term in the pastorate,” Steve says.
Integrity in the Life of a Leader
The retreat centered around integrity in the life of a leader. “We spoke not just about the obvious issues of moral integrity, but also about the many ways as leaders we do not really practice what we preach – allowing our own areas of immaturity, insecurity, pride, or emotional woundedness to shape how we lead, sometimes in not very helpful ways,” Steve says.
The retreat had interactive sessions focusing on:
- Biblical perspectives on integrity
- Living a truly “gospel-centered” life and ministry
- How fear bonds can be a detriment and love bonds a source of flourishing in marriage
- The masks we use to keep from truly being known
- The relationship between character and capacity
- The slippery slope and risk factors which can lead a leader into adultery (and how to recover if you are already there or close)
Steve comments, “Much more than in the U.S., leaders in Mexico rarely have counselors or coaches with whom they can talk openly about their real lives. Apart from teaching very vulnerably from the platform, meals and breaks allowed us to listen to and encourage participants more personally. Culturally, talking about integrity can be complicated, since Mexico is a strongly shame-based culture, and very few trainers teach biblical principles with real-life examples of struggle. These friends worked hard to reflect and apply truth, and they expressed gratitude for our openness.”
This retreat was one of several recent venues the Griswells have had for ministering to Christian leaders in Mexico.
- Beginning a new mentoring program for 20 key leaders in their Mexican church, Shalom.
- Leading a “Basic Principles of Pastoral Counseling” workshop Mexican (Southern) Baptist Convention pastors, with opportunities to talk with several about their personal growth as well as pastoral issues.
- Accompanying mission friends working with pastors among the Purépecha indigenous tribal group – preaching, teaching, listening to and encouraging Purépecha pastors and their families in five different towns where until very recently evangelical Christians have faced ostracism and persecution.
- Providing board leadership for Mosaico Urbano, a national ministry which focuses on holistic social and spiritual transformation among the urban poor on the east side of Mexico City. One area of Mosaico’s ministry is developing pastors, strengthening existing churches and starting new ones, and modeling how to impact their communities effectively.
Pray with One Challenge
- Pray for Steve and Jan’s ministry of “serving those who serve”. Pray for wisdom as they teach, counsel and encourage leaders.
- Please pray for leadership couples who face tough expectations but want to model a more vulnerable, authentic trust in Jesus for their church communities.
“We feel tremendously privileged to focus on ‘serving those who serve’. And we’re tremendously privileged to know you are walking beside us with your prayers,” Steve concludes.
Leadership Development One Challenge is an international mission sending agency empowering local church ministry in more than 100 countries around the world. We are committed to the equipping of leaders, inside and outside the church, with kingdom principles allowing them to move entire people groups toward transformation, hope and justice. Those leaders in turn can mentor others, and together we all bring God’s transformation to lives, communities, and nations.