Bob Pike: Trainer in the Congo

Bob Pike: Trainer in the Congo

He’s believed in the heart behind Lead Like Jesus since its conception, and in June, Bob Pike risked a yellow fever vaccination to take that heart overseas.

Bob laughs that his wife wasn’t always the biggest fan of a trip to the Congo for someone his age. “But I knew this was what the Lord wanted me to do.”

Leading like Jesus before LLJ

In the 1980s, Bob taught leadership courses alongside Ken Blanchard. Even before Lead Like Jesus was imagined, their presentation topics reflected that the duo knew the value of faith and leadership.

The organizers of one professional development conference even suggested that they refrain from teaching about faith in the workplace. But popular demand kept them coming back to that topic. For several years, their special interest session attracted upwards to 900 people annually — despite its 6:30 a.m. time slot and lack of promotion.

“We got the most feedback from those sessions,” says Bob.

Joining Lead Like Jesus in 2002 , Bob was one of the co-designers of the Encounter 2.0 leadership workshop. Since then, he has served on the national board, as chairman of the executive board, and as a master trainer.

Called to the Congo

Bob’s time in Kananga this summer went as far from expected as possible, but he still gets choked up when he remembers the experience.

Despite language and location barriers, Bob trained hundreds of pastors as well as their wives — who are used to being treated as second-class citizens.

Despite a lack of adequate training resources, Bob spoke in front of business leaders in one of the poorest countries in the world.

Despite intense weather and time constraints, Bob made a difference in an area heavy with witchcraft and sorcery.

But in a country where the average annual income is $250 per family, Bob was most surprised on the day they tried putting money in his hands.

After one of the services, his audience lined up by the hundreds wanting Bob to pray over them individually. “I am hot and I am tired,” he remembers thinking, “but these people have been standing in line for an hour and a half.”

In response, the people tried to bless him back with money as he grasped their hands to pray.

“They believe that when you are blessed, you need to bless the one who blessed you,” Bob explains of the Kananga culture.

“But I told them that I came to serve them, not to make money,” he says.

Bob put half of the donated money toward the community’s festival of hope and the other half toward the church’s building fund. The people had donated $364. “Which is huge,” says Bob.

“At the end of the week, I felt like I had only delivered about 25 percent of the Lead Like Jesus message,” he says. “But I tried to really drive into them the disciplines of Jesus. Because if you work on your own transformation, then your transformed life will transform lives.”

Before he left, the people of Kananga gave Bob a nickname: Motombe, meaning “Man of Wisdom.”

 

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