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Catechists and lay leaders exposed to effective Christian leadership

KOTA KINABALU – More than 1,200 catechists and lay leaders from the
three dioceses in Sabah participated in an impactful faith formation program focusing on Christian leadership development, held at Sacred Heart Parish Centre Mar 15-16.

The formation program was initiated by the Catechetical Commission
o f Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese in response to the Extraordinary Missionary Year which was launched on Jan 5-6 on the Solemnity of Epiphany by the Malaysian Church.

The commission takes heed of Pope Francis’ call for the Church to
participate in biblical, catechetical, spiritual and theological formation for
Christian mission work in preparation for the Extraordinary Missionary
Month in October this year.

Fr Valentine Gampok, OFMCap facilitated the program based on the
module “Million Leaders Mandate” by EQUIPTM headed by Dr Joh Maxwell from the United States.

The program aimed to equip catechists and lay leaders with the foundation and know-how of effective Christian leadership.

Fr Valentine expounded the six main topics as outlined in the module alongside ample projection of leadership quotes from leaders around the world.

He said that to be a leader is indeed biblical and a calling by God. The foundation of this is based on the creation of human in the image of God where He has given the mandate to human to rule over all creation.

He highlighted the five basics of effective leaders: perceive the need, possess specific gifts, show great desire, persuade people to work together to fulfil the need and pursue a worthy purpose.

A leader who is used by God has a heart that is close to God, and who has
rid of all barriers in his or her life to fulfil the will of God, said the facilitator. A leadership house is built on the leader’s characters as its foundation and skills as its building.

An effective leader also has a vision to see forward, to see the unseen dreams and work towards its fulfillment. This person, Fr Valentine maintained, prays for God’s grace to help him or her to know their priorities and to keep the vision in their mind, to enable them to lead
from the viewpoint of God’s priorities.

The basic principle of Christian leadership and supposedly in all leaderships is ‘human’ underlined Fr Valentine. An effective leader does not
focus on his or her self but always have others in mind, cultivating relationship with them, developing them, to achieve visions. In sum, Fr Valentine said that the key for a great service or work is one’s focus to plan effective strategies and to actually execute them. – Linda Edward

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