Gustavo’s first semester of teaching is two weeks from wrapping up and it has been equal parts joy and challenge.
Gustavo began teaching a Leadership Formation class on February 1st, which runs for a full 16 weeks. 1/2 way through he added Paul’s Letters to his schedule, which essentially squeezes 16 weeks of course-work and lectures into the final 8 weeks of the semester. Both classes had to be developed from scratch; thus he is feeling the full weight of being a college professor more than ever.
Just today, he traveled with his 13 students just outside of Medellin, to participate in a retreat for his Leadership Formation course. The students were asked to reflect on their past to see how God has worked in their lives to this point and to dream big for God in terms of where he is leading them in the future. (P.S. He used our new van to transport 7 students. Thank you everyone for the gift of transportation!)
A clash of leadership styles
The Leadership Formation class has been very challenging, exciting and fulfilling for Gustavo as he and his students have tried to unpack a biblical theology of leadership.
While it is not possible to state “this is the Bible’s definitive leadership model” there are many principles of leadership that are important: Jesus’ models of service and shepherding; the importance of character as a foundation of good leadership; the church as a body with many functioning members; relational integrity; and the notion of a plurality of leaders (especially noteworthy in the New Testament).
Many of these core principles of leadership are a direct challenge to the typical leadership models seen in a Latin American context. This is difficult to state without sounding imperialistic, overly generalized or critical of vast swaths of the Christianity we have dedicated our lives to serve.
Yet it is the sad truth (as affirmed in Operation World’s most recent publication, in countless interviews with leaders in Latin America, missiology journals and our own cross-cultural experience) that the one-pastor rule is the predominant leadership form in many churches of Latin America.
All spiritual authority is vested in one person (usually thought to be granted by God himself and with the approval of the church’s members).
As you can imagine, the study of a biblical theology of leadership has also had a profound impact our student’s conceptions of leadership, most of whom have been raised with the aforementioned authoritative models.
Teaching at the Biblical Seminary of Colombia
No matter the challenges (whether cultural or theological) we consider it such a great joy and privilege to be serving at the Biblical Seminary of Colombia and for Gustavo to be teaching here.
We live on campus in a beautiful setting and city, Gustavo has daily interactions with students and committed colleagues, we get to enjoy the language and culture (well, Gustavo enjoys the language, the rest of the Karakeys would like to take a break from the language for a while), all the while serving the Lord in a strategic place and ministry.
It is far more than we could have ever imagined. And we thank you for partnering with us.
All of God’s blessings to you,