Grace to you!
I reflect on the need for Church organizational structure and passionate leaders.
I recently ran an idea concerning a big diocesan project by a friend who is an expert in strategic business planning. I noticed that my friend made little or no contribution to the project's nature and funding source. Instead, he suggested I take as a priority, the personnel training and succession planning regarding the project's future, and advise the bishop of that diocese on specifics of personnel planning and human resource management.
Many ideas die not because people don't have the financial and infrastructural resources to execute them. It is because they don't have the right personnel to lead and manage. Many times, churches struggle due to poor staff and human resource management. Anyone who is trained in leadership and management understands this fundamental reality.
When I read the gospel of Matthew 10:1-7, I am fascinated by the brilliant example the Blessed Lord Jesus, the leader par excellence, leaves for the Church. The Lord's mission of bringing about the reign of God has to be continued. He had to train, inspire, mentor, commission, and equip those to further the mission after him. He had to set up a structure in which his authority and Spirit will lead, so his mission will spread to the whole world (Mt 28:19-20).
For those clamoring for a church without structures, a free-for-all spiritual experience without commissioned leadership or organization, be sure you are asking for the kind of Church the Lord commissioned. A free-for-all spiritual experience sounds nice. But is it the Church the Lord founded?
Before choosing the twelve apostles (Mt 10:1-7), the Lord Jesus taught his followers how abundant the harvest is. He contrasted this with how scarce the personnel who are willing and enthusiastic to serve. He admonished them to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send more laborers to the harvest (Mt 9:38). I reflected on this in a previous essay.
Next, he showed an example by selecting twelve out of his numerous disciples to become chosen leaders to carry on the mission. Rightly called the pillars of the Church with the prophets before them, and Christ as the chief cornerstone (Eph 2:20), the apostolic college is evidence of that structure.
By asking the disciples to pray, I believe they were praying for themselves and for many after them to be open to divine invitation to serve to promote God's reign. That prayer continues.
Pray for the same petition. We need more passionate messengers of the Lord. As you pray, open your heart for the possibility to serve the way the Lord desires.
Scripture mentions the names of the twelve (Mt 10:1-6). So, they were real people, not imagery characters. Those were ordinary men without exceptional training. None of them had elitist portfolios. Yet, the Lord saw in their heart the desire to serve first before leading. Hence, he chose them.
No need to count yourself out of the mission because you suppose you aren't qualified. What it takes is a passion, love for the Lord's cause, and the desire to serve. The Lord does not call the perfect or qualified. Rather, he equips anyone he has chosen and makes them fit for his mission through the power of his grace (see I Cor 1:27-29).
Robert Greenleaf, the servant leadership theorist, once said that great leaders have the desire to serve first. Hence, when they have the authority, they lead well. Fr. Robert Spitzer of Magis Center suggests great leaders lead from the heart. They are passionate and homed in on the vision. I would say they own the vision and mission and live them in their lives.
I am praying that we keep the mission of the reign of God alive wherever we find ourselves. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Wednesday Week 14 Ordinary Time: Hos 10:1-3, 7-8, 12: Mt 10:1-7]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.