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T.D. Jakes Visits Regent University

By Brett Wilson | March 28, 2014

Bishop T.D. Jakes.
Photo courtesy of Alex Perry.

As a pastor of a megachurch in Dallas, a New York Times best-selling author and a film producer, Bishop T.D. Jakes has practiced many facets of leadership. Last week, Regent University School of Divinity (DIV), Professional & Continuing Education (PCE) and Communication & the Arts (SCA) students had the opportunity to glean from Jakes' expert knowledge within each field.

Bishop Jakes' visit to Regent also included a pre-release screening of the upcoming film, Heaven is for Real.

On Wednesday, March 19, Jakes met with Divinity students about the importance of bringing intellect into the ministerial profession. According to Jakes, what makes a true leader of a congregation is an individual's ownership of character, competency and an understanding of one's "core."

"This is what God has placed within you, so don't try to copy anyone else because it's as individual as your fingerprints," said Jakes. "Think about what drives you, what ignites you, what gives you energy and what disturbs you—usually your destiny is what disturbs you."

Jakes continued by explaining that a leader's calling won't be something God has not already prepared them to do, and claimed that God will not "make a withdrawal without first making a deposit."

Jakes' ability to pour into the lives of his congregation comes from understanding his "core," and also by recognizing the gifts and talents of the people serving alongside him in his ministry.

"If we can't collaborate, it will stunt our growth and it will kill us," said Jakes. "We must be big enough to collaborate with those who are different from us and build a team for the task."

Jakes lovingly refers to these collaborative partners on the inner circle of his staff as "ninjas." On Thursday, March 20, Jakes encouraged Hampton Roads professionals attending PCE's Leadership Institute to "find their ninjas."

"These are the people who will build around your weaknesses as a leader and have the same work rhythm," said Jakes.

The certificate program was born from his latest book, Instinct: the Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive. There, he explains the importance of walking the line between instinct and intellect.

"Instinct comes from your gut, it comes from the inside," said Jakes. "In leadership, intellect may load the gun but instinct pulls the trigger."

Jakes has followed his instinct in preaching, writing and selecting his team members to work alongside him; and it's what led him to fulfilling the role of film producer.

"In the process of pursuing the thing we think we're supposed to do, we often stumble into the thing we've been created to do," said Jakes on Friday, March 21, during an SCA master class on faith-based film.

Jakes explained to students that he sees the three major roles he fills as having one similar theme: storytelling. He explained that to point people to the idea that Christ is the answer—filmmakers must first "ask the question on the screen."

For him, capturing Christian themes has less to do with depicting ideals and more to do with portraying the truth.

"People don't go to the theater to be preached at, they go to be entertained," said Jakes. "You have to weave in the ministry aspect with such precision or you run the risk of overweighting films with preaching."

Learn more about Regent University's partnership with T.D. Jakes.


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