book, Jesus Driven Ministry, Ajith
Fernando seeks primarily to answer the question: “What does it mean to be a
Christian leader?” Fernando’s
concern does not include management techniques, but rather focuses on
integrity, holiness, and biblical obedience. The whole book is generally based on the model of Jesus’
ministry as revealed throughout Mark’s Gospel. Fernando says that this book was birthed out of his search
for the secrets of long-term ministry.
leadership philosophy sounds drastically counter-cultural and somewhat
reminiscent of Dietrich Bonheoffer’s radical call to discipleship. He outlines his philosophy of
leadership in the following points:
with People. Fernando
explains that in the West there is a lack of commitment to the church and one
another especially when there is little enjoyment and great relational strain. Instead of seeking out affinity and
only those with whom we easily get along, biblical principles call leaders to
pay the price in identifying and persevering with a group to which one is
committed even when it is frustrating to do so. Learning to pay the price of commitment is a key to
developing deep fruit in ministry anywhere in the world. Identifying with people and being
patient with them through frustrating situations will help leaders minister
more effectively to them. We must
believe that we will be blessed if we pursue the implications of the biblical
understanding of the body of Christ.
To do this we must develop an approach to life where our theology is
more important than our natural inclinations and preferences.
by the Holy Spirit.
Fernando discusses how in the Bible there are two main evidences of the
fullness of the Spirit—power for service and holy character. He challenges leaders not to substitute
the unction and anointing of the Spirit with more information-gathering,
seminar-attending, and program-coordinating, though these things are
helpful. He calls the Christian
leader to cultivate a heart of receptivity to the Holy Spirit that lingers in
God’s presence and practices a lifestyle of prayerfulness and fasting. He does not advocate a legalistic
prayer schedule; rather, he says leaders should be so dedicated to prayer that
even if they are too busy to pray during their normal prayer times, they will
make time later in the day because they hunger for the presence of their
Lord. This hunger for and active
pursuit of His presence is the key to being filled with His Spirit and the key
to being empowered for ministry.
by God. Fernando looks at
the Father’s affirmation of Jesus at His baptism. He says that if leaders were to accept God’s affirmation of
them as He affirmed Jesus, it would give leaders the courage and perseverance
necessary to brave the darkness of loneliness and discouragement. He says that we must be so tethered to
God’s promises of glory and joy, so that when tribulation and pain come, we
have an immovable conviction that God is for us and He has a good design in our
suffering. He says that meditating
on God’s promises and hearing the inner witness of the Spirit is a key to
experiencing freshness for pushing forward despite ministry-related suffering.
from Activity. The author
demonstrates from Jesus’ life how little retreats to times of solitude were
necessary even for Him, and even more so for us. Retreats slow us down, they help make us receptive to God’s
voice, and retreats help us escape the tyranny of busyness. They can be long and planned, or they
can be spontaneous and brief.