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A Learner’s Heart

Few People have moved my heart like Pastor Claude Mondesir, pastor of the Eglise Baptiste Evangelique Eben Ezer in Croix des Bouquet, Haiti. Before I tell you about Pastor Claude, allow me to provide a little background.

At PastorServe, we frequently emphasize the need for pastors to have six foundational relationships – boss, trainer, coach, counselor, mentor and friend. Many pastors are aware of their need for continuing education. Pastors wish they had received training in leadership development, evangelism, missions, discipleship, and a host of other pastoral competencies, but there was never the time nor the money. And yet, continuing education is fundamental to the ongoing life of the church, the soul of the pastor, and the health of the pastoral staff. Without a commitment to continuing education and a trainer, one of the key relationships is missing, which weakens the entire pastoral ecosystem.

 

A Learner’s Heart - PastorServe

A Learner’s Heart – PastorServe

 

The need for a trainer is predicated on the pastor having a teachable heart, which brings me to Pastor Claude. Recently, I traveled to Haiti along with PastorServe regional directors Wade Brown and Wesley Horne. PastorServe has been caring for Haitian pastors since day one of our ministry. Our staff has made more than fifty trips to care for Haitian pastors. During a September trip, over a period of five days, we had the opportunity to personally meet with twelve pastors and ministry leaders.

Pastor Claude has a resume that reads like a Fortune 500 CEO. Over his sixty-five years of life, Claude has been a successful businessman, real estate broker, hotelier, medical administrator, teacher, orphanage director, father to hundreds if not thousands of Haitian orphans and a pastor. The one thing not on Claude’s resume is anything past a sixth grade education. And so, on September 14, 2015, Claude returned to school (in a school which he founded and a building he literally built with his own hands). We met with him the night following his first day of school.

Pastor Claude spoke to us, literally shaking with excitement, “today I began the seventh grade. I got my uniform and today I started school!” It will take Claude ten years to achieve his goal of graduating from high school. He possesses one of the most important, most endearing qualities in a pastor. Claude has a teachable heart. He is a life-long learner. He unashamedly told us that many of the orphan children he cares for are much smarter than he.

I encourage every church to provide continuing education for the pastoral staff. By doing so, the church is doing several things for the church, the pastor and the staff.

  1. Making a statement that the church believes continuing education is vital to the health of the church pastoral staff.
  2. Continuing education demonstrates professionalism.
  3. It will improve pastoral health that directly benefits members of the congregation.
  4. Continuing education encourages networking. By attending conferences and educational seminars, pastors connect with other pastors who are a part of the professional clergy community. Through their expertise and experience, pastors are shaped and molded to be better leaders.

At PastorServe, we are praying that the Lord would give many pastors the heart of Pastor Claude – the heart of a lifelong learner. Sometime, in 2025, I hope to be in Haiti for Claude’s high school graduation.

2 Comments

  1. Kirk Allison on November 10, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Pastor Claude reminds me of John Perkins. He didn’t make it beyond 3rd grade (has now a bevy of honorary doctorates – https://spu.edu/depts/perkins/john-perkins/)- and has had a life of service that is amazing, continuing to learn throughout. This is an inspiring story … good for your good work as well.



  2. Joinvil Anvousse on November 16, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    The grace and peace of God be with you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. My name is Joinvil Anvousse from Haiti. I’m excited for the day I have met Mr. Wade Brown, Mr. Jay, Mr. Wesley and Mr. Jimmy Dodd as well. I did not have time to introduce myself to them but from a little distance I can see and admire the amazing work they are doing for our Haitian leaders. I believe that exactly what Jesus commanded us to do in the great commission. As apostle said to Timothy ” the teaching I have been taught you, teach them back to orthers.” That is the ultimate mission for a leader, we need to be trained and train others in return. That is what pastorserve is doing in Haiti. I congratulate your work and keep doing it because it is our mission. Me as well have the same mission as a young pastor. I bless the name of God who makes me to meet such amazing people in this little. As at the beginning I refused the call of God when he called me to preach his powerful word, I chosed to make Maney and neglected a such wonderful work of winning souls. However, he seized me and gave me a Divine mission. Greetings to you pastorserve especially Mr. Wade you spent a little bit of time with to introduce me to that organization. Love