Only God can truly transform a heart. Yet, we are aware of historical figures, like William Wilberforce, who have fought against injustice and brought significant cultural change and transformation. When he became a follower of Christ, Wilberforce began to see all people, including slaves, as persons created in the image of God. As a member of the British Parliament he led a movement that brought about the abolition of slavery in England.
At 21Wilberforce, we have studied the science of leadership. Are there common traits or best practices that cause people like Wilberforce, or Nelson Mandala, or Martin Luther King, Jr., to inspire a shared vision that brings favorable social change? Can leadership be learned, or is it a gift for only a select few exceptional individuals? Some studies, like The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner, and Good to Great by Jim Collins, have found that leadership can be learned and that these leaders share common best practices.
Based on our research, 21Wilberforce has developed a Transformational Leadership curriculum. It is a curriculum predicated on our belief that just as America’s founders secured religious freedom as a fundamental right, other nations will be free only as their own people value and fight for these same rights. In the Transformational Leadership training, we emphasize that replacing injustice with justice comes as a result of three things: 1) a spiritual awakening that only God supplies, 2) leaders who are committed to best practices, and 3) a movement that institutionalizes change through laws and cultural habits.
During the past three years we have used the curriculum to train more than 3,100 leaders from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. We have requests to conduct additional training in several countries this year. But it is in Iran — where Christianity is growing exponentially despite an oppressive regime — that we have identified the most pressing need and hunger for instruction.
In response to this need, 21Wilberforce has agreed to partner with Iran Alive, a Dallas-based satellite television network that broadcasts throughout Iran, to bring the Transformational Leadership curriculum to the Christian community there.
We join Dr. Shariat in praying for religious freedom to come to Iran during this generation.
Dr. Hormoz Shariat, the Founder and President of Iran Alive, has been called the “Billy Graham of Iran” because of the large number of Iranians who are coming to Christ daily through his ministry. We join Dr. Shariat in praying for religious freedom to come to Iran during this generation and that leaders will be equipped to lead the church in Iran when that happens.
During the month of April, 21Wilberforce will focus its attention on Iran and how we can be a force multiplier to the burgeoning Christian community there. Can you imagine the impact of a free Iran on the turbulent Middle East? Some believe that is impossible. That’s what they told William Wilberforce!
- Learn more about the Iran Alive ministryhere
- The main threat for believers in Iran comes from the government; read morehereand here
- Lend your prayers andfinancial supportto the 21Wilberforce/Iran Alive alliance