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Global Leadership Initiative

The Global Leadership Initiative is a development program for young staff of IFES national movements who already have significant leadership experience. It aims to identify and develop leadership potential within the global IFES network. 

We recently concluded our first cohort of the Global Leadership Initiative with 18 young IFES leaders from all over the world. 

One participant shared their reflections:  

“This has been a life changing experience for me. I have grown so much not only as a leader but as a believer in Christ. I know I will be able to go back to my movement as a well-rounded leader, who is more aware and sensitive to the needs and culture of my own society where I can make an impact.” 

To hear stories from the participants on the impact of the Global Leadership Initiative read this article.

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Aims of the initiative

We have two main aims which we believe make this a unique opportunity. 

1. To provide a learning experience that gives exposure to the international IFES community.

  • We will be given a taste of God’s global, multi-cultural community.  
  • We will experience unity in diversity. 
  • We will build friendships across continents.
  • We will provide an environment for reflection, growth, and mutual learning within an intergenerational and multicultural group.
  • We will explore our history, evaluate our present, and think creatively about the future. 


2. To develop life-long learners, equipped for gospel leadership in a global context. 

  • We will get a deeper understanding of God’s mission and his work in our lives.
  • We will develop as life-long learners and life-long disciples of Jesus.  
  • We will be prepared for leadership in a fast-changing and increasingly globalised world.
  • We will learn to work as part of a multicultural team.  
  • We will develop our character and leadership competencies. 

Programme content

The Global Leadership Initiative will include three global gatherings and also participation in the IFES World Assembly in July 2019. 

  • We are aiming to have our first five day gathering in Malaysia within the first ten days of December 2018.  

  • Between gatherings, participants will receive coaching from IFES senior staff and will further develop their skills and leadership potential. Training will be provided by people with expertise in their respective fields. In-depth engagement with Scripture is an essential part of the program.  


The program will build on biblical foundations with an emphasis on character and practical competencies and focus around the following three core themes. 

  • God’s mission – His journey with me 
    We will reflect on our personal journey and experience as leaders, exploring themes of God’s calling, personal motivation and our identity in ministry. We use Gallup’s StrengthsFinder as a practical tool.  

  • God’s people – entrusted to me 
    Through practical tools and case studies we will consider various leadership issues such as communication, servant leadership, building teams and dealing with conflict. 

  • Context and environment 
    We will focus on the context in which we serve – at a national movement level, but also within the global IFES context – exploring our history, evaluating our present, and thinking creatively about the future. There will also be a focus on competencies needed to lead cross-culturally in a fast-changing world. We will use the book The Culture Map by Erin Meyer as a framework.  


Resource team

The Global Leadership Initiative is coordinated by a globally-representative resource team consisting of experienced IFES staff. 

  • Martin Haizmann, IFES Associate General Secretary 
  • Igors Rautmanis, IFES Associate Regional Secretary in Europe
  • Kim Cheng Loh, former General Secretary of FES Malaysia

The rest of the team to be announced in due course.  

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