The 2020 Vision Statement of Freedom to Lead:
In five years we will see 5000 storycentric leaders in 25 under-resourced countries
being transformed into competent Christ-centered leaders.
For the FTL Summer Blog Series, we have been unpacking our Vision Statement for the next five years. First, we took a look at the “Freedom to Lead” part. What do we mean by “freedom”? Next, we examined the numbers, 5000 leaders from 25 countries.
Today we are going to look at the word “under-resourced.”
Imagine for a moment – you have sensed a calling to lead others. You sense God wants you to lead in a church, in a business, or in a school. so where do you go to grow in your leadership?
Perhaps you visit the local bookstore and pick up a few books about leadership. Or you scroll the Internet and see a vast array of opportunities to attend leadership conferences and seminars. Perhaps you seek out a more experienced leader who gives you some advice. Maybe you attend a seminary.
But what if you didn’t have access to a bookstore, or the Internet, or leadership conferences, or a mentor, or seminary. The area where you live doesn’t even have electricity. You’re one of the very first Christian converts in your village, so you are constantly under the watchful eyes of leaders from the dominant religion.
On the other hand, if you are reading this article from the internet on a computer or iPad or smartphone, then you actually have a huge advantage over the vast number of under resourced leaders around the world.
More than Economics
We often think of others who are “under-resourced” in economic terms. They lack money or equipment or buildings. So our solutions are often economic as well. Let’s build a school. Let’s buy some books. Let’s donate money. Yes, let’s! By all means, let’s do those things.
But, let’s also work on solutions that go beyond the economic. For example, how do we build up leaders in these under resourced communities, many of whom don’t even read? That’s what Freedom to Lead is doing through The Garden Project. This program is equipping leaders in hard-to-reach places that have never been helped before. FTL is reaching rural pastors who are leading churches along the Pakistan border. We’re reaching the interior leaders of Mali, Senegal, The Gambia, and Côte d’Ivoire. We’re impacting hundreds of leaders in remote regions throughout Ethiopia, and thousands in northern India and Nepal.
Freedom to Lead
Last year I (Michelle) traveled to Nepal with Freedom to Lead. We were in the valley of a mountainous area about 400 miles west of Kathmandu. It took us three modes of transportation to get there. Every day we hiked a few miles along the side of the rice paddies to the place where we would hold our leadership training. Pastors and ministry leaders had come from far distances. For hours each day we sat on the floor of this building with a tin roof. There was a water pump just around the corner from which we could cool off from the sweltering heat. The children hanging around had never seen a white person before. With the exception of one of our leaders who was doing much of the interpretation for us (along with the teaching), nobody spoke English. And they were here to learn how to be better leaders. They would go back to their communities and pass along the same teaching to others. Others we would probably never meet on this side of eternity. But they would report back that this is the kind of thing that is having a tremendous impact on the church in Nepal.
So, for under resourced storycentric communities, let’s raise up leaders with the Freedom to Lead.