Training Future Israeli Leaders
By Sam Nadler
Besides the opportunity to proclaim the word of God in believing congregations and, of course, sharing Messiah in the highways and byways, the highlight for me was training new leaders in different cities of Israel. In developing future leaders we’re laying the groundwork for the Good News of Messiah to continue to flourish in the Promised Land. This is because the faithfulness of God must be proclaimed “m’dor l’dor” – from generation to generation!
In one case, it was helping to develop the infrastructure of a new work in the Land. Dynamic leaders like M must develop even-handed policies to protect the integrity of the ministry of God. There needs to be a clear statement of this new work’s mission as to why the Lord raised it up for service. Then the vision statement is needing to understand what the ministry is called to accomplish by His grace and to His glory. Having a clear vision helps to establish clear goals as to what spiritual values need to be instituted. Then in light of the vision and goals, objectives can be planned out to accomplish what God has called this work to do. A values statement should clarify how we treat one another and to collaborate and encourage each other in the accomplishing of the work of God.
In another blessed opportunity, training was provided to new missionary-planter families on balancing family life with the work of ministry, under M’s leadership. As hard as it is for some to understand, your ministry to your family at home is the microcosm of the actual ministry in the congregation. We studied in this regard Paul’s insight in 1 Timothy 3:5, “for if a man doesn’t know how to manage his own home, how will he care for the congregation of God.” We discussed structured times of family prayer, devotions and spiritual instruction wherever the family goes. This is what many Messianic congregations confess every Shabbat service in the V’ahavtah: “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6: 6-7). This strong family life is balanced with a strong work ethic; leaders must be self-starters. That is, they must be highly motivated by the call of God, which is renewed by their daily prayer and devotions.
Another new leader, C, that I was especially asked to mentor has loads of spiritual gifts but needed to learn what makes for a healthy congregation according to Scripture. From Exodus 18, Acts 6 and elsewhere, the basic congregational (and family) structure is presented. There must be strong ministry of prayer (conducted), ministry of the word (applied), and a strong ministry of overseer to manage those two other priorities. These three ministries when detailed become the spiritual target, for you can only hit the bullseye when the target is clear.
I suppose my highest privilege in the Promised Land, apart from leading Israelis to faith in Messiah, is training the future Messianic leaders in the work of God, which begins in the home and then applied to congregation planting and development.
A senior Israeli leader, E, who organized one of the training sessions noted, “Sam spent almost 4 hours with a select group of young leaders (in their 20s & 30s)…he shared principles of leadership then took questions and gave brilliant answers. These young leaders were hanging on every word.”
I praise the Lord that there were several dynamic leadership training meetings in Israel where Miriam and I were honored to serve our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. Thank you for praying and helping us to further the Good News in Israel, even to the Jew first and also to the Gentile.