Servant Leadership

Sometimes you have to slow down to move forward. This was the case for over 100 pastors who gathered in March for ServLife’s 2017 annual Pastors’ Conferences in Kathmandu, Nepal and Bihar, India. Pastors and their families came from all over India and Nepal, some traveling for days, to connect, learn and recharge so they could return to their villages with renewed energy. “When they come here they get charged. They get encouraged,” India Director Albert Das reflects. “That makes them move forward…to extend God’s kingdom.”

This year’s theme was Servant Leadership, focusing on Mark 10:45. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Nepal Director Bekharaj Maharjan knows how critical this theme is for the pastors. “The most effective leadership in the church is servant leadership,” he notes. “This is what Jesus modeled for us.”

The theme was explored by a variety of local and international speakers, including Albert Das, Lazarus Thulung, Joon Jung, Adam Nevins and Kyle Pierce. Equally important to hearing from outside voices, the conference gave pastors a chance to tell their own stories. “Everyone has a different story,” Maharjan explains. “When they hear the stories, they think, ‘I’m not the only one going through that.’”

This unique blend of learning, listening and sharing allows them to reenter incredibly difficult ministry contexts with fresh passion for their work. Many of the pastors report experiencing loneliness in their work, and some of them experience a great deal of hostility toward the message of Jesus that, over time, takes a toll on them and their families. For others, the conference is one of the only chances they have during the year to step away from their villages. Maharjan notices a visible difference in the pastors afterward. “After coming to the conference, they are energized. They are encouraged. They are happy.”

Now, as the pastors reenter their ministry contexts, Das is asking the ServLife community to join them in prayer. Specifically, he hopes their brief time together will have a big impact as the Kingdom of God presses outward. “Pray for each one of them, that they will not have any fear. Let us move forward, and the rest God is going to do.”

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