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Following Jesus’ Example: Empowering Leaders in Global Missions, by Victor H. Cuartas

How Shall We Lead the Church?

In this Pneuma Review conversation, church planter Victor Cuartas asks, what do Spirit-empowered leaders look like?


There is an urgent need for equipping leaders in global missions. Leadership is about service and influence. We found in Jesus the best example to follow in global missions. This article will focus on the example of Jesus in training and releasing others for ministry. This paper will conclude with different perceptions in regards to power.

The Kingdom of God in the Scriptures

When analyzing the teachings of Christ, one can see clearly throughout the Gospels the theme about the Kingdom of God. Jesus’ theme was the good news of the Kingdom of God, which was presented clearly by Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Luke records Christ’s own words to describe His purpose with “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose” (Luke 4:43, NASV). “The kingdom of God in the Gospels means, God in His sovereign grace invading history in order to save His people from their sins and woes.”1

Without a doubt the central theme of the teaching of Jesus is the coming of the kingdom of God. This expression is found in sixty-one separate sayings in the Synoptic Gospels.2 Counting parallels to these passages, the expression occurs over eighty-five times. It also occurs twice in John 3:3, 5. It is found in such key places as the preaching of John the Baptist, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt 3: 2); Jesus’ earliest announcement, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”3 The prayer Jesus taught his disciples, “Thy kingdom come” (Matt 6:10); in the Beatitudes, “For theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 5: 3-10); at the Last Supper, “I shall never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day, when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God” (Mark 14:25); and in many other of Jesus’ parables.4

One can also consider the kingdom of God in terms of the importance for Israel. In fact, “The symbol of the kingdom evoked in Israel the remembrance of God’s activity, whether as Creator of the Cosmos, the creator of Israel in history, or ultimately as agent of God’s final intervention at the end of history.”5 Thus, the relevance of the kingdom of God is very important.

More than half of the global population still needs to hear the powerful message of the Gospel.

There are two important aspects of the kingdom of God. Many scholars refer to the kingdom of God as “the already but not yet.” These are the present (already) reality and the future (not yet) of the kingdom. Every believer is already enjoying God’s kingdom, however the fulfillment of the kingdom will take place with the second coming of the Lord (John 14:3).

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Category: Ministry, Pneuma Review, Winter 2013

About the Author: Victor H. Cuartas, D.Min. (Regent University), has been involved in pastoral ministry and church planting for nearly twenty years. He is Assistant Professor of Practical Ministry and Global Missions at Regent University in Virginia. Victor serves as director of research for COMHINA, a missionary movement that mobilizes Hispanics in the United States and Canada for ministry to unreached people groups. He is the author of Empowering Hispanic Leaders: An Online Model (Church Starting Network, 2009) and Capacitando Líderes Hispanos: Un Modelo En Línea (Wipf & Stock, 2010). He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Oxford, U.K. through Middlesex University & Oxford Center for Mission Studies.

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