Jesus Driven Ministry is a helpful book for Christian leaders who desire to declare and demonstrate the gospel faithfully and effectively in their ministry. Ajith Fernando brought out timeless truths in the gospels and showed how the example of Jesus can direct and challenge the way we do ministry. Fernando observed, “The greatest crisis facing Christian leadership today concerns lifestyle. . . . and perhaps the greatest need in training leaders today is to provide guidelines to help them live as biblical men and women.”[1] The book traces key features in the life and ministry of Jesus as narrated in the gospels and how His example can shape Christian leaders in the 21st century.

The first half of the book (chapters 1-7) focused on the inner life of Jesus. His reliance on the Spirit, devotion to the Scripture and unwavering commitment to prayer and fasting prepared Him for the challenges He would encounter in His mission. Fernando notes, “Before we meet hostile people, we must first meet with our God.”[2] The principles Ajith gave in this area showed me how spiritual disciplines can protect a leader from moral failure and relational problems in the home and church. Hence, leaders must learn from Jesus’ example and give much attention to their inner life since it is what keeps them fresh and resilient in the different seasons they go through in life.

The second half of the book (chapters 8-13) focused on the public life and ministry of the leader and how a Jesus Driven Ministry looks like in real life situations. Ajith did a great job explaining key principles in discipleship, evangelism, team ministry, and pastoral care by showing how Jesus handled pressure and how He mentored His disciples during the course of His ministry. Though they were all spiritually immature when Jesus called them to follow Him, they were eventually transformed into mature men of God who laid down their lives for the sake of the gospel.

All throughout the book, Ajith placed great emphasis on prayer and so I wasn't surprised that he concluded with a call for leaders to go deep in prayer. Fernando notes, “When we are in vital touch with God, we have access to sufficient quantities of love so that we will come out glowing after our times of intercession.”[3] Jesus Driven Ministry has taught me that everything I do as a servant-leader must precede from my intimacy with God and identity in Christ. Ajith’s book and life are proof that when leaders are “Jesus Driven”, their lives will exalt Christ and their ministries will bear fruit for the glory of God.

 

[1] Ajith Fernando, Jesus Driven Ministry (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2002), 14.

[2]  Ibid., 39.

[3]  Ibid., 242.