The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Warren Calls for 'Servant Leadership'

Renowned American evangelist, Rick Warren, has urged Rwandan officials to be true servant leaders, saying the only way for a person to triumph in leadership is serving through God.

PM Dr Pierre Damien Habumuremyi (R) and Pastor Rick Warren. The New Times / Timothy Kisambira.

Warren, a bestselling author of many Christian books, including 'The Purpose Driven Life', is in the country since Saturday.

He was speaking during a prayer breakfast at Kigali Serena Hotel, yesterday, which attracted senior government officials, including Prime Minister Dr Pierre Damien Habumuremyi.

Warren said that servant leadership involves being available to the needs of others, being exemplary, and strengthening other people's faith through helping them think big.

Warren, a founder and senior pastor of Saddleback Church, an evangelical church located in Lake Forest, California, and arguably the eighth-largest church in the United States, at the moment, commended Rwanda, calling it his other home.

The evangelist, also a member of President Kagame's Presidential Advisory Council (PAC), is behind the PEACE Plan initiative, which runs programmes in Rwanda aimed at promoting reconciliation, equipping servant leaders, assisting the poor, caring for the sick and educating the next generation, according to Pastor Antoine Rutayisire, the chairman of Rwanda Leaders Fellowship, the organisers of the prayer breakfast.

"Rwanda is now a model for Africa and in the next ten years, it will be a model for the rest of the world. This country is also blessed with an uncommon leader who is full of intergrity,"Rick said.

Premier Habumuremyi said that Rwandans are indeed blessed to count people like Warren among their close friends and regular visitors.

He echoed Warren's message, saying that God uses servant leaders to contribute to the well being of the community.

"We should indeed be servants to the people we lead and develop our nation if we are to become a model country like Rick Warren said," he noted.

Pastor Rutayisire observed that Warren was a big blessing for Rwanda.

A Member of Parliament, Theoneste Safari, said of Warren: "He has always been an inspiration and if we practice his message, our nation will continue to develop and influence many others positively."

Warren is here for a week.

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