Leadership Training in the Hands of the Church
Experiential Learning and Contextual Practices in North Africa and the Middle East
The church is a contextualized reality, and if it is to flourish, its leaders must be raised up to serve their own communities. Yet our very techniques for teaching and learning are culturally defined. If the church is to be effective in developing the leaders it needs, our approach to training must be informed by its local context.
In this immensely practical text, Joseph Nehemiah combines sound pedagogical research with rich cultural insight to provide a framework for training leaders in an Arab context. Examining principles of adult education in light of Arab cultural dynamics, Nehemiah offers a paradigm for experiential learning that is biblically rooted and contextually appropriate. Informed by the experience of professors in the Arab Gulf, along with extensive interviews from local church leaders, Leadership Training in the Hands of the Church seeks to place the development, teaching, and training of leaders into the hands of the local church.
This remarkable book touches my heart. It is a great response to my cry over the years – “invest in local leaders.” As a local leader myself, I cannot tell how much I was shaped and transformed by those who invested in me.
The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis
Archbishop, Anglican Province of Alexandria, Egypt
Writing at the intersection of educational research, pedagogical best-practices, and intimate personal knowledge of the dynamics of the MENA region, Nehemiah’s work offers a posture and approach to delivering transformative leadership training that will contribute to the strengthening of the Arab church across the region.
Matthew Bennett, PhD
Assistant Professor of Missions and Theology,
Cedarville University, Cedarville, Ohio, USA
This book is the fruit of more than twenty years of the author’s love and perseverance as a reflective practitioner. Anyone who desires to see godly leaders developed anywhere in the world can benefit from the biblical, educational, and contextual wisdom found in these pages.
Lanver Mak, PhD
Lecturer in Islamic Studies,
All Nations Christian College, Ware, UK
This book is grounded throughout by real-life experience – by the author’s own many years of experience teaching in the region, and even more importantly, by his diligent gleaning of first-hand insights of current leaders there. A book like this has been urgently needed for some time. May God use it mightily in training effective leaders for the churches he is building throughout the region!
Gary R. Corwin
Former Editor, Evangelical Missions Quarterly
This book is an excellent resource for those who are training leaders in the MENA region. It has a strong biblical foundation, well-researched insights from adult learning theory, and is guided by the voices of many MENA regional leaders. This is a unique treasure that will serve the church well for years to come.
Lloyd Kim, PhD
Coordinator, Mission to the World
Dr. Nehemiah has produced a most valuable gift to those concerned with better leadership development for the church in the Arab world. The combination of solid insights from the Bible, sound educational theories of adult education, and well-researched Arab cultural values makes the book important and unique. In addition, captivating interviews with Arab leaders reinforce theological, educational, and cultural insights.
James E. Plueddemann
Former Professor of Intercultural Studies,
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois, USA
The author’s long history in the Middle East and North Africa provides an invaluable resource in the best tradition of missiological study – an engaged practitioner motivated by love for the people he serves. As all education is cross-cultural at some point, this book is valuable for all educators. For those who seek to assist servant-leaders in cultures other than their own, Leadership Training in the Hands of the Church is a vital resource.
Michael F. Kuhn, PhD
International Theological Education Network,
Adjunct Professor, Arab Baptist Theological Seminary, Beirut, Lebanon
All learning and teaching happens in a particular context and this is so important for gospel relevance and impact. Joseph Nehemiah brings this vividly to our imagination as he delves into how this happens in the MENA regional context with general application to other contexts.
International Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, Mission to the World
Joseph Nehemiah is not a novice theoretician but rather a seasoned Christian educator writing on a subject of his expertise. In this well-written book Nehemiah highlights several cultural norms that influence Arab teaching styles and suggests an alternative style he describes as the professor beinga “servant-leader.” Nehemiah expands this into a well-researched tome that has the potential of making a major impact on the Arab world of education.
Table of Contents
- Section I: Biblical Foundations
- What We Train: Four Areas
- How We Train: Jesus, Paul, and Discipleship
- Leader Development in Church History
- Biblical Teaching for Transformation: Psalm 119
- Summary: What and How We Train
- Section II: Adult Education Principles
- Benjamin Bloom: Learning Taxonomy
- Malcolm Knowles: Adult Learning Theory
- David Kolb: Experiential Learning Cycle
- Summary of Bloom, Kolb, and Knowles
- Section III: MENA Cultural Foundations
- Understanding Education in the MENA Region
- Arab Cultural Factors That Influence Learning
- Practice, Culture, and Learning Expectations
- Section IV: Implementing ELT in MENA Adult Education
- ELT Principles in Cultural Practice
- Current ELT Use in Gulf Adult Education
- Elements of a Contextual Leadership Development Programme
- Implementing Shura-Based Education
- Appendix: Report of Research Results