Ajith Fernando has ministered in Sri Lanka for the past 30 years or so directing the Youth For Christ work there. His book, Jesus Driven Ministry, refreshed my soul. Here are three reasons why.
First, this book is biblical to its core. Ajith sets out to write a biblical theology of ministry from observing the life of the greatest servant and leader who ever lived. He notes in his forward: “I had seen some Christian leaders whose lives and ministries seemed to stagnate after they reached forty. So I began a search for the secrets of long-term ministry. This book is a major step in recording the results of that search, which will, I think, go on as long as I live.”
In his search he wrings more principles out of the first chapter of the gospel of Mark then I would have ever imagined. It’s great food for the heart and mind.
Second, Ajith invites us inside a struggling leader’s mind and soul. He has an amazing knack at revealing what he was thinking when such-and-such happened, and how those thoughts led to bad (or fruitful) consequences. Each of the 14 chapters is filled with personal case studies. Often I’d be reading and say to myself, “Man, how many times have I thought that?!” But it’s stuff that most leaders never talk about openly.
Third, there are no references to American sports or recent movies. That might be a refreshing change for those of us who have spent many years ministering overseas or in a cross-cultural context. His insights transcend culture because they are straight from the word and from real life. He shows us the Way.
Chapter titles: Identifying with People, Empowered By The Spirit, Affirmed By God, Retreating From Activity, Affirming the Will of God, Saturated in the Word, Facing Wild Animals, Bearing Good News, Growing In A Team, Discipling Younger Leaders, Launching Disciples Into Ministry, Ministering to the Sick and Demon-Possessed, Visiting Homes, Praying.
Invitation for aspiring leaders: Let’s embark on a lifetime study of the simple foundations of supernatural servant leadership.