An Interview with Wess Stafford: A Gospel Focused Life and Ministry

There is a very good interview with Wess Stafford in Outcomes 37/1 (Spring 2013), 6-7, on “Finishing Well.”

Our desire as ministers of the gospel is to finish well (Matt. 25:21,23; 2 Tim. 4:7-8). Here are a number of things I most appreciated about what Wess stated. Though he has served with Compassion International for many years, many of those as President and CEO, many of the lessons he has learned are appropriate for those in other kinds of ministries as well, including pastoral ministry in the local church.

  • Humility and gratitude are his responses for what the Lord has allowed him to do.
  • He is committed to the success of his successor.
  • Succession poorly done derails organizations.
  • The commitment to the Christian faith, the gospel, must be shepherded.
    • This consists of both shepherding the culture and stewarding the commitment.
    • It must be centered on Christ and being a servant of his bride, the church.
    • One must not confuse their board of leaders with their major donor program.
    • In the executive leadership team, a pure heart and a humble walk with God with a passion for the Lord are absolutely critical and essential.
    • The way in which money is received can also compromise the centrality of the mission of the gospel.
    • Keep the gospel of Jesus Christ central!
  • Perfection is not required or expected of leaders, but authenticity is.
  • Regarding ministry leaders:
    • Your ministry role should move you deeply;
    • guard your heart;
    • fight for your family;
    • pour yourself into your calling.

As you read and ponder this list, do so prayerfully. Here are a few questions as you do so:

  1. From what he shares, what is most pertinent for where you are in ministry at present?
  2. For those in ministry, what are important lessons you learned, or are learning, that you can share with others?
  3. How do you ensure the gospel remains central in your life and ministry, both in doctrine/proclamation and in functional centrality in the outworking of the gospel truth in ministry?

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