“Thanks be to God, through His Son, Jesus Christ, who has been steadily working in my life. I am zealous to acquire Christian leadership training!” Dembe shared his joy freely.
Eight years ago, Dembe was leading a new church he had planted in his community in Uganda. “We started the church with four adults and 150 young people,” he said, “but I struggled with how to develop these young people. Their character, skill, and knowledge was limited—indeed, I lacked these things myself. Yet I knew they must be reflected in a leader who leads as Jesus Christ would.”
A friend told him about an opportunity to develop leaders with training from Global Disciples. But it was 200 kilometers away! So he took a step of faith, saved money for travel expenses, and attended the training where he learned to equip others to lead in the way of Jesus.
Dembe said, “My desire for transformation started when we finished these lessons centered on raising and developing Christ-like leaders. I wondered, how would these lessons work in my own life? I knew transformation had to begin there, before I could impact other leaders for transformation.”
As he applied what he learned about intimacy with Jesus, forgiveness, brokenness, and the Great Commission, Dembe experienced personal transformation. And he began training others in a training program he started with a cluster of churches in his area.
“Many church leaders, especially pastors, are now experiencing a tremendous transformation in their individual lives and church leadership,” Dembe reported. Instead of “doing it all” or seeking control, they now seek to lead according the model Jesus gave us. And to raise up and equip others for ministry. Some pastors have seen changes in their family too.
“It was a turning point for one pastor,” Dembe said. “It led him to reunite with his wife. They had been divorced for four years, but the lesson on the leader and family spoke to his heart. The following month, they were reconciled; they now are married, and happily serving the Lord together.”
Dembe’s pursuit of leading like Jesus is bearing fruit. Since 2009, more than 150 leaders have gone through the local training, and have planted three churches. The local church also started training disciple-makers with a vision for reaching least-reached people with the Good News of Jesus. So far, they’ve equipped and sent out 45 disciple-makers, and led 35 people to faith in Jesus Christ the first year.
Dembe is enthusiastic about connecting with those who have a heart to train leaders and disciple-makers with the help of Global Disciples. In fact, he’s one of our newest Global Disciples staff, applying his leadership skills and heart for God’s people to assist other church leaders in Uganda. And he continues training those who will lead and equip others in training programs like his. In this, Dembe’s prayer is “that the Lord would continue shaping my life into a leader He wants me to be.”