Growth calls for new leadership models
Our founder, Moishe Rosen, used to say, “Jews for Jesus is a leadership training cadre.” (Moishe liked to use words like “cadre.”) He worked diligently to raise up leaders and held us all to a very high standard. So, when I was elected to succeed Moishe, I found myself surrounded by a team (cadre) of highly gifted leaders who were committed to helping me lead Jews for Jesus.
Believe it or not, just over 22 years have passed since then! Over the past two decades I have been privileged to work alongside many of those leaders Moishe raised up, as well as investing myself in a new generation of Jews for Jesus leaders.
The ministry of Jews for Jesus grew in size and scope across the globe and, before long, I had 26 leaders reporting directly to me. I was blessed that wise counselors came alongside me, as Jethro did with his son-in-law Moses, to say, “The thing that you do is not good. Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself” (Exodus 18:17–18). So I appointed regional directors. But as our ministry continued to grow, our leadership model needed to grow as well.
So, in 2016 I appointed some of my most trusted and experienced leaders from around the world to form our executive leadership team (ELT). Through the wonders of technology (and despite time differences), we meet weekly through a digital platform called “Zoom.” This team has made a wonderful difference for me personally, and for our entire ministry.
Vision-casting calls for new leadership models
Next month I turn 60 years old. I am more excited and energized than ever to lead Jews for Jesus forward, especially with all that we learned and experienced through Behold Your God Jerusalem! I am eager to spend more time casting vision for our future, mentoring others, writing, speaking and taking more time to deepen relationships with ministry friends and partners. To help make all this possible, I’ve received the blessing of our boards of directors and the ELT to expand the authority of some of our top leaders.
Please pray as three of our staff take on new leadership roles
We began by hiring Robert King Tang as the first person to hold the position of chief financial officer in our ministry. Robert had a successful finance career in the hospitality industry, but had been prayerfully seeking a way to use his talents to serve the Lord full time. Robert has been working to develop our administrative team, increase our effectiveness and yes, save money! Hallelujah!
You may already know the two other leaders who’ve been appointed to a new role: Aaron Abramson and Dan Sered. Between them they have nineteen years of leadership experience in Jews for Jesus. I have had the privilege of mentoring both of them. (I also performed the wedding for Dan and his lovely wife Dinah in 1999.)
Aaron Abramson has been leading our North American flagship branch in New York City for seven years, where he’s also been serving as our director of young adult ministry. Aaron conceived of and launched Massah, our most effective discipleship and evangelistic short-term missions program for young people. Aaron is an extremely creative, out-of-the-box thinker who loves to collaborate and facilitate teamwork. As a result, our New York branch is about to enter a very exciting new era of evangelistic opportunity (more about that in the coming months)!
Dan Sered has been our Israel director since 2006, effectively growing our work in Israel. Under his leadership, Israel is now by far the largest branch in Jews for Jesus, with 40 missionaries and administrative staff. Through Dan’s hard work and commitment to relationship building, our ministry has forged many partnerships with other ministries, increasing opportunities for the gospel to go forward in the land of Israel. Dan loves to help people fulfill their ministry calling and does an excellent job of keeping the lines of communication flowing.
I’ve appointed these two men to oversee the day-to-day operations of Jews for Jesus worldwide. Together (beginning in January) they will fill a position we’ve not had before: chief operations officers (COOs). Robert, Aaron and Dan will still report directly to me as I continue in the role of Jews for Jesus’ executive director.
I know this article is a little different than my usual, but I just had to share my excitement and confidence in our Jews for Jesus leadership—as well as asking you to pray for our leaders. Leaders do matter, so please “Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably” (Hebrews 13:18). “Pray for us that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you” (2 Thessalonians 3:1).