Almost obscured by the disciples, who threw down their cloaks as a saddle, and the crowds, who waved palm branches while shouting “Hosanna!”, comes our juxtaposition–Jesus. He is “gentle and riding on a donkey” (Matthew 21:5), or, as prophesied, “lowly and riding on a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9).
In contrast to the boisterous crowds, Jesus is described as “gentle.” This characteristic of gentleness is associated with Jesus by Michael Youssef in his book, The Leadership Style of Jesus. Youssef also notes that Paul lists gentleness as one of the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23.
According to Youssef, there are three ingredients to gentleness.
-Kindness: An authentically gentle leader demonstrates consideration for the feelings of others. He or she would never intentionally hurt, belittle, shame, or embarrass another person.
-Submission or meekness. This refers to submitting to the will of God, which is characterized by a willing obedience to God’s Word and God’s leading. Jesus exemplifies this in the Garden of Gethsemane when he prays, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
-A teachable spirit: This is a willingness to learn and to be corrected, knowing that one does not have all the answers and is open to new ideas.
We consistently see the three parts of gentleness (kindness, submission, and teachablity) in candidates for pastoral leadership. These characteristics were evident last Wednesday during the interview and approval session for new Commissioned Pastor candidate Gonzalo Venegas (Zeeland Classis). Gonzalo is being discipled by Jose Duran, who is himself a Commissioned Pastor candidate and the church planter of La Casa De Mi Padre Church, Holland, MI.
After a candidate, such as Gonzalo, is endorsed by a Classis, he or she is referred to Church Leadership Center. CLC serves the Classes by working on their behalf to ensure that candidates are able to provide evidence of required ministry competencies. When the required competencies have been achieved, CLC then certifies that the candidates are ready for examination by their Classis.
Church Leadership Center has a contextualized and mentored emphasis that works in partnership with pastors, churches, and other ministry groups to prepare congregational leaders for advanced levels of service. We do this by means of assessment interviews and reports; personalized training plans, classes, and certification so that participants are able to increase their effectiveness in all areas of church life.