While Christianity has been the dominant religion in North America this has begun to change. Immigrants bring with them their own cultures and religions and Christian leaders are facing pluralistic, cross-cultural contexts that they have often not been prepared for. In addition, many leaders continue to struggle with how to be servants rather than fight for power and position, how to think strategically, how to empower their staff and volunteers to be all that God wants them to be. Leaders want to lead with integrity and effectiveness, but the demands of ministry often seem to get in the way.
DAI is responding to the challenges of North American Christian leaders in three ways. First of all, we are training and mentoring leaders of Diaspora/immigrant churches and ministries to lead with effectiveness and integrity. These churches are on the leading edge of church growth in North America. Pastors and ministry leaders are struggling with how to help their congregations not only adjust to their new homes, but also impact their communities here and in their home nations with the Gospel. By walking alongside these leaders DAI is impacting both the North American and global church. Secondly, through consulting, DAI’s experienced leaders walk alongside pastors and ministry leaders who desire to see their local and global outreach ministries become more effective. Finally, DAI helps churches develop and maintain effective cross-cultural partnerships with ministries at home and overseas.
HISTORY OF DAI IN THIS REGION
DAI was birthed by Dr. James Engel and Dr. David Fraser as the Center of Organizational Excellence at Eastern College in Philadelphia in 1996. In its first two years of existence, leaders from Africa and Asia gathered with the founders at Eastern to determine the mission, the new name, and help design DAI’s first ministry strategies. In 1999, DAI moved its primary offices to Colorado Springs, but currently has staff from 8 nations scattered across the continent from Los Angeles to Toronto. While never a “headquarters”, the Colorado Springs office acts as a service center to the growing fellowship of leader developers around the world through fundraising, IT, marketing and accounting. The office is also a home base for the Master’s in Organizational Leadership Degree program and DAI’s current President.