Ten Years ago, Presbyterian minister, evangelist, and church leader Leighton Ford founded Leighton Ford Ministries to identify and develop emerging young leaders. In 1992 he began the Arrow Leadership Program, using a nonresidential, tow-year schedule to train groups of 25 people ages 25-40—many of whom are already in ministry positions—in evangelism and leadership skills. "I sensed a desire among the younger generation of emerging leaders for a highly personalized leadership development program," says Ford. "They hungered for mentoring relationships with older leaders and affirmation between peers—and above all, a program that stressed character development alongside skills for growing ministries."
Ford's advice to the 50 young leaders featured in this issue of CT is embodied in this letter to two students completing the Arrow program.
Dear Danny and Chris,
As you graduate, my thoughts are drawn back to 50 years ago this fall. I was 15 then, and had just been named president of my hometown Youth for Christ. That position gave me the chance to try my own wings in leadership, and it put me in touch with come important evangelical leaders. Oswald Smith, the well-known missionary pastor, taught me to pray. Bob Pierce, founder of World Vision, opened my eyes to the world. Harold Ockenga, the consummate pastor-scholar and itinerant president of Fuller Seminary, inspired me with his biblical and intellectual preaching and in many ways treated me like a son. Billy Graham came to my small city and encouraged me when I saw meager response. Later he became my mentor and brother-in-law.
That generation of post-World War II leaders, which emerged on the national and international scene with tremendous vision and energy, ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more