As the marketing manager for Henkel Adhesives of Southeast Asia, Tran Gia Huan (Vietnam) is used to making detailed plans for the future. But for he and his fellow Christian business leaders, God’s plan is more easily recognized in retrospect.
“Looking back on the journey, we believe that it was God’s plan to send Lead Like Jesus to us,” says Huan. “He has enabled us to live out our catholic group's new mission through a new ministry.”
It was approximately three years ago that the new mission for the group (namely Nhom Lua Yeu Thuong) began. The leadership team of the group prayerfully sought God’s guidance on how to have a deeper, more meaningful walk of faith with Him. The answer: Help one another in the pursuit to share Jesus with those they influence.
But what should that look like in their daily working environment within the competitive marketplace? While seeking the answer to that question, a Vietnamese Jesuit who is the spiritual mentor for the group sent them the book Lead Like Jesus.
“The book led us to another deep journey, learning the leadership of the greatest role model of all time, Jesus,” recalls Huan.
An Organic Movement
Hungry to learn more, the group poured over resources found on the Lead Like Jesus website, and began organizing their own Encounter workshops through their network. The first was held in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) in 2014, and then in Dalat, Ban Me Thuot, Danang and Dong Nai. By the time the group first connected with LLJ’s Chief International Officer Jim Montgomery in 2015, Lead Like Jesus already had a deeply rooted “unofficial” ministry spread throughout Vietnam.
“It’s been a truly organic movement,” says Jim. “This is a solid group of well-connected individuals, and they have such a genuine heart for making an impact. They want transformation in their own lives, to understand having a personal relationship with Jesus and what that looks like to walk with God. That’s what’s been communicated back to me more than anything else.”
In October 2015, Jim met with the group to sign an official affiliation agreement for launching the Lead Like Jesus ministry in Vietnam. They are eager to spread the life-transforming leadership of Jesus, and to that end, they are helping to translate Lead Like Jesus materials into Vietnamese.
During his trip, Jim also helped facilitate a Lead Like Jesus Encounter for 70 participants, and provided additional training to 35 individuals who want to become certified as Lead Like Jesus facilitators.
In December, the group hosted a follow-up Encounter for 40 participants who were from various communities and a variety of faith backgrounds, including Catholic, protestant, Buddhist and non-religious.
“This was a blessed opportunity for us to introduce Jesus to brothers and sisters who do not know Him yet,” says Huan.
Also giving close attention to the December Encounter was Cardinal John Baptist Pham Minh Man, who paid great respect to the Lead Like Jesus approach. He showed particular interest in the “Being” and “Doing” habits that help leaders stay on track as they seek to follow the leadership model of Jesus in their daily lives.
Attendees of both Encounters have been quick to share the impact Lead Like Jesus has already had on their life and leadership.
“I love Jesus. He is my Savior and the reason why I live my life – but I never thought about Him as my leadermodel. Lead Like Jesus’ definition is really interesting, and I was touched. From now on, my heart longs to love and serve people like Jesus.” Nguyen Thi Nhi Ha, Ho Chi Minh City
“Through the Encounter, I lived in God’s love, listened as God called my name: ‘Hanh, I love you.’ Thanks to the Encounter, I live
d in an atmosphere of brotherhood. I was so happy; thank you all! The Encounter helped me see the wonderful Jesus, and an approach to transform myself, my family and my community. I am committed to introduce Jesus to everyone. LLJ is a transformational journey. Lord, please be by my side to enable me overcome my ego so that I can be really transformed.” Tran Duc Hanh, Ban Me Thuot City
“I learned how to give out and to forgive with love. I learned how to listen to understand my brothers and sisters. I learned how to minimize my fear and pride, which always exist in us. Inside us are so many things that seem difficult, but are actually simple. Thanks for introducing me to Lead Like Jesus. I hope more Encounters will be organized in Vietnam.” - Dinh Bao Anh, Ho Chi Minh City
“The Encounter gave me a new point of view and strengthened my trust in Jesus – a great leader I want to learn from… I would like to do my job with love. My students are the objects of my affection; I need to be patient, diligent, graceful and more accepting.” Pham Thi Oanh, President of Christian Life Community (CLC) Vietnam
As for Huan, he continues to be awed by the journey on which God has taken he and his group over the past three years.
“Lord, it was amazing you sent us such a wonderful gift,” he shares in prayer. “We are so grateful that you give us a priceless opportunity. This is a transformational journey with countless challenges along the way. So please be with us. In Jesus’ name, amen.”