Rick Warren advises Rwandan leaders

The speed of Rwanda’s development requires trustworthy leaders who are committed to the vision of improving the lives of its citizens, renowned American pastor and author, Rick Warren, said.
Pastor Rick Warren (L) talks to Finance Minister Amb. Claver Gatete (C) and Eastern Province Governor Odette Uwamariya after the lecture on Friday. The New Times/John Mbanda
Pastor Rick Warren (L) talks to Finance Minister Amb. Claver Gatete (C) and Eastern Province Governor Odette Uwamariya after the lecture on Friday. The New Times/John Mbanda

The speed of Rwanda’s development requires trustworthy leaders who are committed to the vision of improving the lives of its citizens, renowned American pastor and author, Rick Warren, said.

He was speaking last Friday in Kigali at a discussion titled “How to be a more effective and successful leader.”

The discussion was attended by close to 100 political leaders including ministers, lawmakers as well as business and religious leaders.

“Many people who have come more than once to Rwanda tell me that they notice how quickly the nation changes. That every time they come back it is different, it is improved, and it has got better. This is a nation in a hurry and I have seen the slogan that “moving forward is a good thing when people are in need,” Warren said.

“This requires a different kind of leadership than when you’re moving slowly. Leading people in a rapidly changing society requires trust – a leader must first earn the trust of people… and that is what Rwanda has”.

The bestselling author of “A purpose Driven Life,” argued that since everything falls or rises on leadership, those in power must be committed to serve instead of being overwhelmed with their titles or positions.

“If people do not trust you, you may have the position or title, but you are not the leader… it doesn’t matter how good your plan is, if they do not trust you, it doesn’t work,” Warren said.

“But when people trust your leadership, they make changes faster and can even put up with a lot of inconveniences. They will make greater sacrifices and take risks that breed creativity, because they trust you.”

Prime Minister, Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, commended Warren for his love of the country and the activities of his organisation.

“The people of his church know our story and have tremendously contributed to healing and transforming our country. Tonight he has done a great job in motivating and advising our leaders on the qualities that will help them in leading Rwandans even better,” Habumuremyi said.

Rick Warren’s PEACE Plan initiative was launched in Rwanda in 2005 and has grown its network to over 4000 churches and 4000 pastors, who have been trained in promoting reconciliation, caring for the sick, assisting the poor and promoting education for the next generation.

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