For the past five years I have been greatly privileged to serve God through DAI in Asia. As I have worked alongside Christian leaders in this region I have learned first-hand the great strain and burden they carry in seeking to model as well as declare the Lord Jesus Christ in all spheres of life.
The word integrity is bandied around a lot, particularly in relation to politicians, community leaders and church leaders. When I ask groups of leaders what they understand by the word integrity almost all of them respond with words like honesty, loyalty and trust. These words are all associated with the idea of integrity but in fact the best definition comes, not surprisingly, from the Bible. In 1 Corinthians 4:17 the apostle Paul, writing about himself says, “He (Timothy) will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere and in every church.”
Integrity then is consistency between the way a leader lives and what he or she says.
In any area of life this sets the leadership bar extremely high. Leaders are constantly asked to speak about different issues of the day, many of them complex and contentious. At the same time they live under the spotlight of the gaze of the public and media. Any inconsistency between their way of life and their utterances is seized on and used against them.
Almost every aspect of leadership is difficult; cultivating a right attitude that sees leadership as service and learning the appropriate skills to be effective as a leader are hard. But these are easy compared with the challenge faced by leaders who claim to be and are known as Christians not only to think and speak from a Christian perspective but to conduct themselves in a way that is worthy of the Lord and matches what they say.
The nations in which I have been working are each facing significant challenges with corruption and violence seriously impacting each. If ever there was a time for leaders of integrity in all walks of life to stand up and be counted it is now.
DAI is convinced mature, Christ-like leaders are the key ingredient in demonstrating and teaching integrity to the national leaders of their nations. We are committed to help them live and serve in ways of righteousness and justice that glorify God and build His kingdom.
About the Author: Ian Cathie is married to Wendy. They have four adult sons, all married, and twelve grandchildren. Ian retired from Development Associates International (DAI) last month after five years of leading DAI-Australia as Ministry Center Director and planting DAI offices in two Asian countries. In retirement, Ian looks forward to travelling within Australia, spending more time with his family, and deepening his involvement with his local church.
DAI is so incredibly grateful to God for Ian, his passion to train leaders in the ways of Jesus Christ, and his intentional expansion of the ministry of DAI into new countries.