“You know…in Ghana, we have everything,” reflects Rev. Ahmed Quarshie, church planter and national director for Lead Like Jesus in Ghana. “We have all the wonderful, natural resources that anyone in the world would want. We have oil; we have gold; we have diamonds, timber, rubies.”
Yet Ahmed says the people of Ghana continue to suffer because of problems that money alone can’t fix.
“Because of bad leadership,” he says, “the country – the populace – is poor.”
Indeed, throughout the rural areas of Ghana, physical poverty is pervasive – as is spiritual poverty due to remoteness and other influences, such as Islam, witchcraft and traditional beliefs.
And this is why Ahmed is passionate about raising up an army of indigenous Church Planters who will lead like Jesus in their communities as they establish Jesus-centered churches where none exist.
“Church Planting connected with Lead Like Jesus will bring a great impact. Cultures will change, communities will develop. They will change for the better, and the country at large will be a better place.”
A Tree Unbent
Ahmed says that one of the reasons why Church Planters have such great impact is because they are able to reach entire families for Jesus.
“When you are planting a church, you are not just bringing the adults,” he explains. “You are bringing the children; you are bringing the youth.”
He explains the significance of this reality by using an African proverb about trees. While a tree is young and small, he says, it is not difficult to “train” it to grow straight. But once a tree is old, fully formed, it’s much more difficult to correct a tree that is bent.
Likewise, Ahmed believes that the greatest hope for his country is in influencing the next generation.
“Through the influence of Church Planters, right from childhood, everyone understands what it means to lead Like Jesus. My vision for Ghana is that the generation after us will be the one that will lead like Jesus, and Ghana will be a better place to be.”
Change from the Top
But Church Planters also have significant influence in the lives of the already “powerful,” as well.
“We believe that a Church Planter is an agent of change in every community,” says Ahmed. “And so we tell Church Planters that it is their duty to work with the people of authority in their community.”
The result, he says, is exponential transformation.
“A Church Planter who is leading like Jesus will naturally ‘breathe’ that into the lives of everyone he is bringing to Christ. He forms a network of leaders who will begin to lead like Jesus.”
He continues, “If people who are in authority begin to lead like Jesus, the whole culture changes. And I can assure you that when a culture changes – let’s say a culture of corruption, of rottenness – communities change, too. It brings about growth; it brings about development.
“For me, that is the best, right thing to do.”
It Starts with Me
“You know I just cannot stop talking about Lead Like Jesus,” says Ahmed with a big grin spread across on his face. “If I could stop doing everything else, and just focus on Lead Like Jesus, I would. It brings me such satisfaction.”
And the reason for his satisfaction is what takes places every time he helps show others how to lead like Jesus.
“Every time I teach others how to lead like Jesus, it changes something inside of me. There is something that’s still happening in my life.”
He laughs, “And that’s why I can’t stop talking about it. It is helping me to change, helping me to grow to become a better person, a better husband, a better father. I’m very excited about it.”
“My vision,” he says, “is that everyone in Ghana would lead like Jesus, and that Ghana would become a better place, and a better church – to portray the real Kingdom of God. That is my vision.”