Monday, September 26, 2011

Leadership and the Father's business

by Rev. James Wong

“The Father’s business” was a phrase coined by Jesus. When he was only twelve years old, Jesus told his parent, “I must be about my Father’s business” (Luke 2:49 NKJV). In other words, while the rest of the kids might be surfing the net with their iPads or watching cartoon programs Jesus was conscious of his mission of changing the world. It is fascinating to note that Jesus called his mission “my Father’s business.”

When the time came, he formally launched his ministry with a clear vision and a three-year strategic plan that included the selection and training of twelve disciples. His evangelism strategy moved first from Jerusalem, then Judea, then Samaria and then to the outmost parts of the world (Acts 1:8). His passion and commitment to the Father’s business brought him all the way to the cross. He was unflinching and serious about the Father’s business.

There is a price to be paid in doing the Father’s business. Just like any business, the Father’s business needs good leadership practices. Since Jesus had given us an example of sacrificial commitment to the Father’s business, I believe he expects church leaders to put their best efforts in building his church. Of course we are not alone in this. He has promised us his presence and providing us with spiritual gifts to accomplish the task. How to go about the Father’s business?

1.  Seriousness: We must be serious about the Father’s business. To be serious means to be concerned with the ministry that we are serving in and treat the matter as important. “If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously” (Rom 12:8 NLT). Seriousness is to get the responsibility done.

2.  Schedule: Doing the Father’s business takes time and energy. Availability is more important than talent. A person who is involved in the Father’s business, either serving in leadership position or in any church ministry, must have free-up time to do the tasks. We must schedule the Father’s business into our calendar.

3.  Sacrifice:  The idea of serving the Lord is a noble thought but it is always related to serving God’s people. Thus, the Father’s business could be a stressful one. It could turn into a time of testing of our patience and love. Paul said, “Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea.” (2 Cor 11:24-26 NLT). The Father’s business is always associated with personal sacrifice. Let us all spur one another to be committed in the Father’s business in any way we can.

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