Working out of Jesus’ Type of Authority

Deborah Stollery

In the first blog in this series, we took a look at the kind of authority with which Jesus led:  authority that came from his call from God and from his clear understanding of the vision and mission.  Those who hold leadership responsibilities in parishes or dioceses may have this kind of authority that flows from a call from God to serve the Church and a conferral of authority from ecclesial leaders.  If you are aware of this calling, and if you catch glimpses of God’s kingdom either already come or coming, read on.

How did Jesus maintain this authority, an authority that was recognized by onlookers, by demons and by his disciples?  And how do you as a parish or diocesan leader, imitate him?

We get a clue as to how Jesus did this from the various scriptures that tell us of the number of times Jesus went to pray.  He separated himself from the demands around him, from the upcoming events and even from his current situation and went into an intimate encounter with His Father.  One source indicates 29 incidences in the scripture where Jesus is reported to be praying.[1]  It stands to reason that those who are entrusted by the Church with leadership would strengthen the calling by frequent prayer.  Paul instructs the church in Thessalonica to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”[2]  Pray without ceasing.  It seems clear that to work out of the kind of authority Jesus had requires this kind of prayer commitment.

What else is required to lead with Jesus’ type of authority?  Jesus had a gifted manner of pointing out the signs of the Kingdom coming to the people of his day.  He spoke in their language, using metaphors and stories they would understand, giving them examples, and encouraging them to respond with both trust and action.  To those of you wishing to lead with his type of authority, the same is required of you.  Our Church has expressed this in her work with the new evangelization, saying that we need new expressions, new methods and a new ardor.[3]  To lead with Jesus’ authority is to discover these expressions for your people, in your communities in this time in the United States.

Is there anything else that will help you tap into Jesus’ authority in our place and time?  Yes, there is. Jesus promised to continue to teach, to connect and to lead through the Holy Spirit.[4]   What forms might that take?  The first blog in this series spoke of authority being composed of call and competence.  The Holy Spirit can and will increase your competence by directing your continued study and practice in various areas of leadership:  vision, mission, planning, change management, inspiration,  decision-making and more.  And of course, we at ConSpirita stand ready to assist you in leading with Jesus’ authority.

Up Next:  Jesus Leads—By Empowering Others

[1] “Jesus Praying.”  https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Jesus-Praying Accessed 12/28/17.

[2] Thessalonians 5:16-18

[3] Disciples Called to Witness Part II.  United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/new-evangelization/disciples-called-to-witness/disciples-called-to-witness-part-ii.cfm   Accessed 12/28/17

[4] John 4:26

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