Serving for Human Dignity, Not Authority

Kashif, an MAOL student, Pastor, and General Secretary of a Church denomination in Pakistan, shares how servant leadership is not only a style of leadership, but a daily commitment to treat others in a way that suits human dignity. It is not enough to simply have authority over others, but to serve them in a way that supports the community.

“I can say that my perspective of leadership has turned upside down during my studies. I have been tempted to take a position of prestige, but I have learned to take my current responsibility as a gift and opportunity from God to serve others. I try my best to give respect to every single person I interact with. The feedback is encouraging to me.”

“My leadership style has become more like a team-player. I delegate authorities to others and give them credit for their achievements. Although there is still much need of transformation, there is no longer an appetite to show off.”

“Demystifying Leadership” for French-speaking students in Africa – your chance to help!

I am a transformed leader is the testimony of Charles Onencan, who works at the Centre for Peace, Education and Development in Uganda. Charles had just completed the first semester of DAI’s MA in Organisational Leadership Course in which he had studied the “Introduction to Servant Leadership: being the leader God wants you to be” course.

This was the newly revised course, written by DAI’s Jane Overstreet and John Rogers, which had been launched in Uganda in August 2017 and which is now being used across all our MA programmes in English.

We now want to make this revised course available to our MA students in Francophone Africa.

Jacqueline Mirembe, another member of Uganda group comments the course manual is structured in such a way that at the end of each unit I had to complete a personal leadership growth plan, which required me to reflect on what I had learnt and how I plan to implement it in the future.  Throughout the course, there is a deliberate effort to help the individual through deliberate implementation.

And Mary Kwaje, who works for Norwegian Church Aid in South Sudan, testified that it developed my own abilities as a leader by helping me to understand myself and the gifts that God has given me and has empowered me to become a more effective leader. It has exposed me to what I feel is an inadequate and non-Biblical mode of leadership that is too widespread in our region.

It is clear that the revised course is having a profound impact on the approach to leadership of the students who have gone through the course.  But it’s only our English-speaking students who are able to benefit from this major revision of the course.  Jean-Marie Nkonge, DAI’s Director for the MA Programme in Francophone Africa is asking for French-speaking African students to have the opportunity to benefit from this major course revision of the Servant Leadership course, as well as from the many course revisions in the English version of the programme.  He says, we want to be able to offer the same versions of the course as are offered in English.

Translating the Servant Leadership course into French will cost £3,000, and we already have the promise of a matching grant, so if we can raise £1,500, the project can begin! We have someone lined up, who has done a great job in translating other courses for us. So, would you be able to help us aim for the £1,500 we need to translate the Servant Leadership course into English? A gift of £9.00 would enable us to translate a single page, while a gift of £273 would enable us to translate a course unit. You can either e-mail us (dai-uk@daintl.org) to ask how you can donate through a bank transfer or send your gift direct to us at DAI UK, 7 Cherwell Close, Abingdon, OX14 3TD (cheques payable to “DAI UK”).

The final word goes to Charles Onencan: the course has demystified the common notion, especially here in Uganda, where leadership means accumulating wealth and ‘eating as much as you can’ in total disregard of others and of God’s design for leadership.  It helped me re-examine my leadership purpose and calls for deeper soul-searching and reflection on what kind of leadership we have been professing and should be practicing!

Overcoming the Effects of Abuse

Much of what we as DAI do is address the abuse of power. And the abuse of power is an issue that hit the charity sector here in the UK earlier this year with claims of sexual abuse and harassment. Starting with the revelations about Oxfam, by the end of March more than 80 cases of sexual misconduct or abuse had been reported to the Charities Commission by overseas development charities.

Travel the 8,700 kilometres from London to Colombo, Sri Lanka, where for twenty-five years up to 2009, civil war ravaged the country. Many of the men died and many women were left vulnerable, even after the cessation of hostilities, because some of those sent to bring help often wreaked harm. Some aid workers and even some Pastors abused the vulnerable in exchange for the promise of provision and protection. Even today, it is estimated that 60% of women in Sri Lanka will suffer domestic abuse at some time during their lifetime.

Given this context, Kendall Atkinson, DAI’s Ministry Centre Director in Sri Lanka, and one of his colleagues were so burdened by the history of abuse suffered by so many of the women of Sri Lanka that they began to prepare a Workshop to help lead survivors of abuse through the slow process of healing.

“Daughters of God: Overcoming the Effects of Abuse” was launched in May 2018, with 17 women attending the 3-day Workshop.  Many of these women have been convinced that they are nothing more than victims. But they are also beloved daughters of God, can also be effectively used by him and can have a significant role to play as leaders in their communities.

On the first day the focus was on being created in the image of God and on recognizing and resisting abuse, especially abuse by leaders.

On the second day the participants thought through the effects of abuse and about God’s apparent silence in the face of abuse.

The final day there was discussion about restoration after abuse and what it means now for them to live as God’s daughters.

Kendall, reflecting on the Workshop observed that many of the women had been ministered to through this Workshop. The materials will now be translated into Sinhala and Tamil, so the Workshop can be taken to the women of Sri Lanka who don’t speak English, and we will explore across DAI how this Workshop can be adapted and contextualised to some of the other regions where we work.

Trauma mars the human person at the very deepest level and the road to healing is fraught with risk and pain. Please pray that God will use this Workshop to heal others who have been impacted by abuse and that God would grant those who attend future Workshops a sense of safety to open their hearts to him and to a healing that touches the very most sensitive core of their beings.

Reaching across the cultural divide in Myanmar

Living in Myanmar, Michael is a graduate of DAI’s MA programme which was held in Yangon and completed his studies in 2017.  Michael is from the Chin tribe, a primarily Christian people group which was once oppressed by the Bamar, the dominant ethnic group in Myanmar, who we often think of as ‘Burmese’, and he is currently serving as a pastor in a village of Bamar Buddhists in one of the poorest communities in Yangon.

One of the final courses in the MA programme is the “Culture, Ethnicity & Diversity”course which helps to build understanding and cooperation across cultural boundaries. Reflecting on the DAI course, Michael commented:

“The MA in Organisational Leadership has been very good for my life because it has really broadened my worldview of leadership”

Specifically commenting on the “Culture, Ethnicity & Diversity” course, Michael said:

“Culturally we are very different than those we serve in the village, but I chose to be here because I want to help them as much as I can. I want to share the gospel so they have the hope in a living God and their life will be changed. I decided to do this ministry because many children and their families do not know Jesus. We’ve had about 40 convert from Buddhism and 150 children (many Buddhist) participate in our weekly children’s ministry. If it were not for the DAI programme I do not think I would be serving where I am today”

Although not an official MA student, Hannah, Michael’s wife, has been studying the course materials independently:

“I am not an official student of DAI’s programme” she shares, “but I studied the materials Michael brought home. The materials were so applicable, practical and really helpful and effective for me. It has really improved my teaching and mentoring skills”

Changing perceptions about leadership in Nigeria

Michael Gowon, who lives in Nigeria, wears three hats! He is the Director of Planning, Research and Statistics (DPRS) of Nigeria’s Plateau State Universal Basic Education Board, the Pastor of Jesus Revelation Assembly in Jos and the General Secretary of the Jesus Revelation Global Ministry. And, if that wasn’t enough, he’s also a student on DAI’s MA in Christian Organisational Leadership, which, he says, has taught him to be a servant leader rather than an overbearing boss, both in his office work and in the church. He says:

DAI has truly changed my perception about leadership, integrity and the role of women in ministry.  I will ensure I transfer this new-found understanding to as many as I can find around me, in my office, at church and in society

Michael’s new-found leadership skills have helped him to better lead his team through effective management and decision-making. He says:

“What I have learned on the course has helped me a lot in discharging my assignment in the church and in the office. Knowing that everyone can be a leader regardless of their temperament was a revelation to me. Discovering my behavioural style now helps me to relate with others in my team, office, and church. It is much easier understanding who they are and what they are capable of doing”

He also explains how the Strategic Management course, one of the 12 modules students on the MA course have to study during their 3 years, impacted him:

“The course provided me with fresh insights in developing innovative and change management plans. As the Chief Planning Officer of my organization, what I have learned about strategic planning is helping me ask relevant question”

Michael also says that the MA course has helped him to be a better listener, especially with his wife, and it has helped him to recognize there is a lesson in every experience:

“In everything we are involved in, we [should] deliberately insist on a takeaway, a lesson we have learned, and what we intend to do for the better. This is making me more productive and effective as I am no longer only a listener, but I am also an avid doer of what I read and hear. The courses have corrected my worldview, and today what stands out for me is the truth that the Bible is complete and perfectly clear in its teachings”

MAOL Graduate bridges cultural divides to impact future generations

DAI’s Culture, Ethnicity & Diversity course helps to build understanding and cooperation across cultural boundaries. Michael, a 2017 DAI Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (MAOL) graduate shares:

“The MAOL has been very good for my life because it has really broadened my worldview of leadership.”

Michael is currently a pastor ministering to a village of Bamar Buddhists in one of the poorest communities in Yangon.

Michael was born into the Chin tribe, a primarily Christian people group, that was once oppressed by the Bamar. He shares:

“Culturally we are very different than those we serve, but I chose to be here because I want to help them as much as I can. I want to share the gospel so they have the hope in a living God and their life will be changed. I decided to do this ministry because many children and their families do not know Jesus. We’ve had about 40 convert from Buddhism and 150 children (many Buddhist) participate in our weekly children’s ministry. If it were not for the MAOL program I do not think I would be serving where I am today.”

 

 

Hannah, Michael’s wife, shares:

“I am not an official student of DAI’s MAOL program but I studies the materials Michael brought home. The materials were so applicable, practical and really helpful and effective for me. It has really improved my teaching and mentoring skills.”

Reaching young professionals will help influence Churches, workplaces and families

DAI Marketplace Ministry Coordinator, Yawng Ku, shares why the team in Myanmar is focused on equipping young professionals with much-needed leadership training and spiritual mentoring.

“Myanmar has a significantly large youth population, with 55% under the age of 30. As the country grows both economically and spiritually, many of the young people are finding they do not have the proper training or experience to be effective leaders.

Additionally, because Myanmar is predominately Buddhist, many young Christian leaders find that they are the only Christian in their office and struggle with how to live out their faith at work. The goal of DAI’s Marketplace Ministry is to create a community for these leaders so they can grow together in their faith, leadership and identity in Christ.

Myanmar’s young leaders need our support to be prepared for future opportunities.

We believe once they are empowered and equipped with the right knowledge and experience, they will influence many people in their churches, workplaces and within their families.

It is our privilege to help the young professionals develop their integrity and leadership skills to establish a new culture of leadership in Myanmar.”

A lesson in every experience…

Michael Gowon, an MAOL (Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership) student in Nigeria, shares how DAI’s courses have taught him to be a servant leader rather than a boss, whether in the office or in church. He is currently the Director of Planning, Research and Statistics (DPRS) of the Plateau State Universal Basic Education Board, as well as the Pastor of Jesus Revelation Assembly in Jos, Nigeria and the General Secretary of the Jesus Revelation Global Ministry.

Michael’s new-found leadership skills have helped him to better lead his team through effective management and decision-making. Michael shares:

“My new knowledge received from DAI has helped me a lot in discharging my assignment in the church and in the office. Knowing that everyone can be a leader regardless of temperament was a revelation to me. Discovering my behavioral style now helps me to relate with others in my team, office, and church. It is much easier understanding who they are and what they are capable of doing.”

He explains his experience with the Strategic Management course:

“The course provided me with fresh insights in developing innovative and change management plans. As the Chief Planning Officer of my organization, what I have learned about strategic planning is helping me ask relevant questions that will lead to the discovery of inputs from all relevant stakeholders.”

Two key learnings Michael uses throughout his daily life is to be a better listener, with his wife especially, and to recognize there is a lesson in every experience. He shares:

“In everything we are involved in, we [should] deliberately insist on a takeaway, a lesson we have learned, and what we intend to do for the better. This is making me more productive and effective as I am no longer only a listener, but I am also an avid doer of what I read and hear. The courses have corrected my worldview, and today what stands out for me is the truth that the Bible is complete and perfectly clear in its teachings. DAI has truly changed my perception about leadership, integrity and the role of women in ministry. I will ensure I transfer this new found understanding to as many as I can find around me, in my office, at church and in society. I know I am in the right place and I am looking forward to completing this soon and taking higher studies in leadership. I thank God for DAI, they are gradually changing me and I enjoy what I am gaining and learning and becoming.”