From DAI Student to Pastor of a Conflict-Ridden Church

“I can go on and on about the impact of DAI and its ready application to my life and ministry without stopping because the course content, which is highly flexible in delivery, is amazingly and relevantly appropriate for day to day life and ministry applications in the setting and ministry context in Nigeria.” ~ Nash

When Nash Azaki started the DAI MA Course in Organizational Leadership in Nigeria, he had no idea of the journey it would take him on. At that time he was a student worker with the ECWA azaki nashonStudent Ministry in Nigeria, and was feeling in need of training to sharpen his leadership skills. Two years into the three-year course, he was asked to take over as pastor of a 500 strong congregation in Abuja. So how has the course helped him as a leader, both with students and more recently with a large congregation?

“As I progressed in the programme, each semester had something new and rich for me to learn and apply in my life and ministry.” “Pressed to be more specific, he said that the Teaching and Learning for Impact course had helped him understand his students as learners and that now in his new role as a Church leader he is using what he learned about facilitating when leading Bible study groups and discipleship classes, helping people engage better with what they are learning.

Nash’s view was that the Conflict Resolution and Management course was “God-sent”! The church he took over had become sharply divided between the supporters of the former pastor, who left because of financial misappropriation, and the supporters of the elders. “Assuming pastoral responsibility in this conflict situation was the biggest challenge I have ever experienced. Using the course skills and further empowered by the Holy Spirit, peace and spirituality has been restored. Then as I identified ethnic issues to be at the root of the problem we had the course on Culture, Ethnicity and Diversity which directly addressed the situation in my church.”

Nash has a passion for mission and evangelism: “I want to encourage our church to be a missionary sending and mission supporting church. As one of the exercises on the Partnership course I had to explore a possible partnership. I had a vision for strengthening the church in Burkina Faso, and using the methods and skills we learned we have now successfully partnered with the Eglise Evangelique in Burkina Faso and with other ministries in Nigeria to support the church in Burkina Faso. Although this began as an academic exercise, we now have a very real partnership and we are doing significant ministry in another country in West Africa.”

The last words belong to Nash: “I am totally overwhelmed by the fact that a simple commitment to an academic exercise can translate into such a huge, monumental, eternal impact as represented by a partnership which has been brokered and that resulted in us sending two missionaries to Burkina Faso. Thanks so much for placing the resources of this course on partnership at my disposal.”

What others have said about Nash:

John Rogers Thumbnail (1)“Pastor Nash has vision, wisdom, executive ability, humility, develops friendships and has tact and diplomacy. These are the characteristics we look for in leaders and Pastor Nash is an inspirational leader.” ~ Dr. Mrs. Numbwa Medugu

“Pastor Nash is a visionary leader, a leader of high integrity and a good planner.” ~ Solomon Labafilo

Author: John Rogers, DAI Senior Consultant for Non-Formal Training and Adult Education, wrote Nash’s story after teaching Nash and his classmates about forming and maintaining partnerships which led Nash to send out missionaries from his congregation.

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