Many Christians freely discuss the need for righteous leaders to be raised for every sphere of influence. And I am happy to announce that this is an issue that the School of Governance is seized with.
The school last week completed a “Future Candidates” training time at Every Nation in Cape Town for people who aspire for political office. This was hosted from March 29 to 31 in partnership with the Leadership Institute in Washington DC.
We followed a hybrid model for the training whereby some candidates attended in-person and others online via Zoom. We also had speakers in the host venue and others joining virtually. Among those who appeared in person were:
- Cheryllyn Dudley (former ACDP MP),
- Michael Louis (co-founder of the School of Governance and pioneer of electoral reform in SA),
- Graham Charters (political communications strategist),
- Jonathan Moakes (vice president GQR and political strategist),
- Mmusi Maimane (founder and chief activist for One South Africa Movement),
- Masizole Mnqasela (DA member and Speaker of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament) and
- Neil de Beer (president and founder of United Independent Movement).
Zooming in was Ron Nehring, the director of international training at the Leadership Institute and a Republican strategist and communications expert. He served as a national spokesman in the 2006 Presidential Campaign of Senator Ted Cruz. He was followed online by Bill Faulk, government affairs professional, political strategist, and communications consultant from Long Island, New York. Next was Steven Sutton who serves the Leadership Institute as vice president of programs. Lastly, we had Dave Brat, PhD, dean of the School of Business at Liberty University, and a former congressman.
Our American guests’ input dealt mainly with the nuts and bolts of running a successful election campaign. They unpacked issues like candidate development, campaign management, funding and sustaining a campaign. Of course, some of them could not avoid touching on former president Donald Trump’s failed re-election campaign. In other words, even this setback for the Republicans presented us with an opportunity to extract some important lessons.
So, where to next? Borrowing from the topic I was asked to speak on, I believe we are in desperate need of “Courageous Leadership”. We need to recognise that what sets apart those who lead in government and other sectors isn’t always the fact that they are the best and brightest among us. Many of them are simply courageous — something that is sadly in short supply among Christians today.
My challenge to you is that you consider putting your hand up and be the answer to the cry for “competent leaders who respect God and are trustworthy and honest” (Exodus 18:21). As Dr H Dale Burke says: “great organisations are built on great leadership. Great leadership requires great leaders. And great leaders are gleaned from the fields of good people — men and women of moral character, strength, and conviction” (2004, p. 47).
Let me end with a statement from Honourable Masizole Mnqasela. He quoted from Winston Churchill who said: “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” As the Church we are a field of good people and as such we could rewrite the history of our nation.
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