Leading with Integrity: A Look Behind the Lens with Mike Pearson, Longtime Cameraman for Leading The Way
Oct 1, 2018
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The night of September 13, 2001, I was face down in prayer on the floor of my hotel room in Times Square. The Twin Towers had fallen and everything had changed. I had driven for two days under plane-less skies to reach the gray, sorrowful city where I met up with a Christian news team. At the time, the manner in which many Christian TV organizations were responding to the tragedy of 9/11 made me question my desire to continue working as a cameraman in Christian television. So I brought my burden to God. I finished my prayer, and life went on.

Months later, my phone rang. A former colleague was now at Leading The Way in Atlanta. The ministry was just starting in television and needed a cameraman. I thanked him for thinking of me but let him know I'd be staying put. But as I hung up, God gently reminded me of my prayer that September night. Almost with embarrassment, I realized that phone call was the answer to that prayer.

"It was clear to me very early on that God's hand was on this ministry."


Before joining Leading The Way in May 2002, I visited Atlanta to meet some Leading The Way staff and carefully make my observations of Dr. Youssef. If I were to continue in Christian television, the ministry would need to be sober-minded and sensitive to how God desires to use such media. I had heard how seriously Dr. Youssef approached and proclaimed God's Word, but I really wanted to know if he loved his wife and had a relationship with his kids—and how they felt about him. It didn't take long to discern the Youssefs were an authentic Christian family that loved and supported one another. That was what I needed to see, so I was ready to go.

Right out of the chute I found myself in places like the West Bank with Dr. and Mrs. Youssef, sharing the Gospel with the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Later in Egypt, I accompanied Dr. Youssef as he preached to thousands and met with Heads of State. I walked through fields in Ethiopia and rain forests in Indonesia hearing the voice of Dr. Youssef proclaiming the Gospel from solar-powered Navigators. And I'll never forget crossing schoolyards and campuses in the Middle East hearing Dr. Youssef's dual-language broadcasts emanate from dorm rooms, classrooms, taxis, and cafés. It was clear to me very early on that God's hand was on this ministry and that He had opened a new door for me to continue in the calling I truly loved.

In my 16 years at Leading The Way, I've seen amazing growth on platforms like radio, TV, internet, and THE KINGDOM SAT that are all broadcasting the Truth of the Gospel around the globe every day. And I've continued to make my careful observations of Dr. Youssef, determining that what you see is what you get. What he asks of others, he does himself. His focus is the Gospel; his mission, to trust and obey the Lord.

Dr. Youssef's witness has greatly impacted my faith. I admire this man whose desire is to finish strong and please God. Over the years, his obedience to the Lord has encouraged and challenged me to step it up and finish strong, too, in anticipation of facing what Dr. Youssef calls "the audience of One."

Over these 30 years, God has done amazing things for His Kingdom through Dr. Youssef and this ministry. At the same time, I strongly believe that we have barely scratched the surface of what God will do through Leading The Way and our partners. And so my heartfelt prayer is that God will continue to grant us the faith to trust and obey His vision for the passionate proclamation of the Gospel wherever and however He leads.

Order Dr. Michael Youssef's new book Life-Changing Prayers today to enhance your own prayer life.