Lee Grady – Lessons From a Leader (Interview)

Shyju Mathew

"Experience the Word of God, in the power of the Spirit."

January 20, 2010

From the time I started to preach and minister, I have learnt so much from other leaders. One of the purposes of my blog is to share what I’ve learnt; as the scriptures encourage, to freely give what we freely receive.

Here is an awesome interview with Lee Grady. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma international magazine. He is also the founder of The Mordecai Project, a ministry focused on empowering women leaders and confronting the abuse of women around the world.

We had organized a conference in our church with Lee Grady. He is a man who walks his talk in all humility. God used him powerfully in India, specifically to set many men free who were bound by the enemy of domestic violence. I am sure this interview will throw light to lot of areas in our lives.

What fuels the passion behind what you do? What is your driving force?

Lee Grady: I was baptized in the Holy Spirit when I was 18 years old. That experience is still a defining moment for me. That is when my Christianity came alive. I had been raised in the church, but after the Holy Spirit touched me my faith became vibrant and my relationship with the Lord became intimate.

How did your ministry begin?

Lee Grady: I have been involved in writing and Christian publishing all of my adult life. My natural giftings involve writing and editing. But I was called to preach and minister publicly in 1998 when I was praying in a renewal service. The Lord asked me to surrender my fears—and two of those fears were of speaking in public and flying in airplanes. I knew when He asked me to surrender those fears that He was going to send me to the nations. Sure enough, after I surrendered the conditions I had placed on my obedience, I was flying all over the world. I have ministered in 24 nations since then.

What are your greatest challenges in the ministry? And how do you overcome it?

Lee Grady: I have always struggled with confidence. I don’t think I am that great of a speaker, and I compare myself to other preachers. They always sound so much more dynamic than I do! Yet the Lord has shown me that He has not called me to be like anyone else. I have to be who I am. I have to minister in the style that He gave me. And many, many people come to me after I preach and tell me how much God used my messages, my prophetic words or my prayers to help them.

Who is the one person, apart from the Bible personalities, who most helped to shape your leadership and how did they help you?

Lee Grady: I have many mentors in ministry. One man discipled me when I was a teenager and I still keep in touch with him today. He is like a spiritual father. Another mentor prays with me about important ministry decisions. I have another close friend, a pastor, who is both a mentor and an accountability partner. This man knows everything about me, including all my faults and sinful tendencies. I share with him about my temptations. These kinds of relationships are so important if we want to walk in holiness.

Has there been anyone who has helped you shape your thought process about dealing with life that surrounds the ministry?

Lee Grady: Again, I have so many mentors and ministry relationships. I believe that one of the most important safeguards in ministry is to surround ourselves with mature leaders who can coach us and correct us when necessary. We are walking in pride if we don’t have people in our lives who are more spiritual than we are!

In recent years I have also built relationships with leaders from other nations. One of them is an evangelist from India, Harry Gomes, who is based in Coimbatore. Harry has spoken into my life at key times. He prays for me and has been a real encouragement. And he has helped me to understand how church leaders outside the United States are thinking. It is so important for us to gain a world perspective.

What is your greatest strength when it comes to leadership? How did you develop it?

Lee Grady: I believe one of my gifts is encouragement. I love people, and I love to help younger leaders grow and develop. I love to disciple young leaders. I believe this came to me because a man invested his life in me when I was much younger. That is a biblical pattern. So I want to do it for many others.

The Lord has also given me a prophetic gift. I am able to come into a church and help the leaders see where God wants to take them. Often I can also see where the enemy is hindering them. I can speak into the situation and help those leaders step forward, advance and take territory.

I developed my prophetic gift by stepping out and speaking when God was giving me a word. Sometimes it was scary. And I had to be open to correction if I was wrong.

And what is your greatest weakness in leadership? How do you fight it?

Lee Grady: I am very sensitive and I can get discouraged easily. I have to be careful about how I deal with criticism. I don’t avoid it, but I have to process it with people who love me. They help me sort through it. I also have to stay in the place of prayer, and read God’s Word regularly, so that I keep my faith level up. The devil is most effective when we are discouraged.

How do you manage your Prayer and Bible reading?

Lee Grady: I spend time every morning with the Lord. I love to study the Word and I usually pick one book of the Bible to read and study. Right now I am doing a study of the life of Abraham, so I am reading passages in Genesis, Romans, Hebrews and Galatians. I also love to use a study Bible so that I can get the most out of my reading. I use the New American Standard Study Bible, but I also like to read Matthew Henry’s Commentary on that portion of Scripture I am reading.

When I pray, I like to focus on a few major concerns each time. Sometimes I use a prayer list that contains names of my friends and family. I pray for my wife and daughters constantly. I also pray a lot in tongues. I believe praying in the Holy Spirit is one of the secrets of spiritual power.

Also I have a special place where I pray and study. It is quiet and no one else is around. I like to be able to pray out loud without others hearing me. For me it is important that I can sing, worship and pray without any inhibitions.

At times when you are low, how do you come out of it?

Lee Grady: I have to run to the secret place! I have to pray until I feel a breakthrough. If I am still feeling discouraged or oppressed sometimes I will call one of my friends and ask them to pray with me.

What would your advice be to the young leaders, from your experience?

Lee Grady: Be really careful of becoming proud. Don’t let the devil convince you that you are so great and special. No matter how anointed you are, no matter how many people are healed in your meetings, and no matter how many fans are begging for your autograph, realize that you are young, inexperienced and immature.

Stay humble. Don’t ever get to the place that you cannot take out the garbage in the church, or clean the toilets. The moment you are too “good” to do those things is the moment the devil can take advantage of you. This is the main reason leaders fall into all kinds of failure in my country. They became proud.

If people are trying to make you a Christian celebrity, run! Don’t let that spirit anywhere near you. Jesus was a servant and he washed his disciples’ feet. If you can’t do that, you have no business being in the ministry.

Lee Grady’s Blog on Charisma Here

Lee Grady on twitter Here

Mordecai Project Website Here

Question: What do we youth learn from our older generation leaders? [See more on this post by Lee Grady here.]


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