Over the last 30 years, every moment of ministry—from humble beginnings to international influence—has been orchestrated by the sovereign hand of God."Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." — Proverbs 19:21
It was for His glory that God took Michael, an ordinary lump of clay, and faithfully molded him into a vessel for the treasure of the Gospel.
Before he was born, before he had preached a single word or taken a step toward obedience, God's favor rested on Michael Youssef. His narrow escape from abortion was just the first of many instances of God's sovereign hand at work in his life.
From the beginning, God set Michael apart for the proclamation of the Gospel—not because of any power or merit he possessed, but because God delights to fill ordinary jars of clay with His all-surpassing power. It was for His glory that God took Michael, an ordinary lump of clay, and faithfully molded him into a vessel for the treasure of the Gospel. With every pinch, push, and turn of His hand, God has formed him and the ministry of Leading The Way—from our field teams to our ministry partners—to pour out the hope of Christ in a hurting world.
There's no question that the Potter has been at work—from Michael's birth through 30 years of passionately proclaiming uncompromising Truth—and He's not done yet.
"Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin." — Zechariah 4:10, NLT
Often resentful of the call of God on his life, Michael spent many youthful years in rebellion. But at the age of 16, God arrested his heart, and Michael surrendered his life to Christ. Over the next couple years, he struggled with God over his calling and was crushed when God closed the door to a prestigious opportunity. But through these disappointments, God taught Michael to trust and obey so that he could say, "Where you'll lead me, I'll go; where you ask me to serve, I'll serve."
From his experience growing up as a minority Christian in Egypt, to his ordination in Australia, to receiving a doctorate at Emory University—God was there. At every stage of the journey, God was leading the way for Michael Youssef to become His mouthpiece for Truth, proclaiming the love and power of Christ to the lost.
"I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth." — Acts 13:47
FROM MUSTARD SEED TO MINISTRY
After planting The Church of The Apostles in 1987, the call to begin a media ministry came quickly and definitively, leading to the founding of Leading The Way with Dr. Michael Youssef. Elizabeth Youssef shares, "Several members of the church told Michael that he needed to get on media because he had such a great message, and that was probably what motivated him to do those little punchy spots [on local radio stations]."
Dr. Youssef never desired to be in media, but he felt God calling him once again to obedience. He says, "God dragged me into this ministry, and then He gave me the vision for it. From our humble beginnings, He grew us in ways I never could have fathomed."
Today, Leading The Way broadcasts the Gospel more than 13,000 times a week in 26 of the world's most spoken languages. Each day, people from all over the globe share with us how their lives have been transformed by one message: Jesus Christ. Whether lukewarm believers, the unreached in remote regions, or former terrorists, God has shown us there is no one beyond His power to redeem. We rejoice in every life changed and soul saved, knowing these are gifts from the hand of God—the fruit of trusting in Him day by day for 30 years.
MUCH MORE TO BE DONE
As we celebrate 30 powerful years of ministry, God has made it clear that we are just getting started. Our best years of ministry are ahead of us as we press on in faith.
God has laid it on our hearts to use all our innovation, energy, and creativity to prepare for a huge harvest over the next seven years—to see one million souls come to Christ by 2025.
He has given us the platform and the experience needed to grow our media reach—both in the West and the Muslim world. Though the call to win one million souls is daunting, it is thrilling. And it comes with this promise: "Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:20).
The only one with the power to save is calling us once more to follow Him—to trust and obey—and we know He will faithfully lead the way into this next decade of ministry.