I am honored to lead the Resources Division at LifeWay and serve with a team of leaders who are passionate to serve the Church in Her mission of making disciples. Each Wednesday, I share the heart behind one of the resources our team has developed and give an opportunity for you to register to win a free copy of the resource. This week’s resource is Joey Shaw’s new book, All Authority: How the Authority of Christ Upholds the Great Commission. Believing that “biblical mission is biblical doctrine applied,” Joey Shaw offers us an important look at the theology and thinking that drives the mission efforts of a church that is literally impacting the world.
Joey Shaw is the International Field Office Director for the Austin Stone Community Church. In recent years, Austin Stone has sent more than one hundred of her members to live and serve Christ among the nations. Joey and his family live outside the United States where they serve unreached peoples for the glory of Christ. In this post, Joey offers us five ways that praying to “our Father” influences our daily leadership.
1. We learn to submit.
The second word of the Lord’s Prayer signifies that we are not the boss: “Father.” Our Lord, our “Father,” is the boss. We live in His “house” and must abide by His rules. As the eternal and universal “boss,” He has delegated His supreme authority to his Son, Jesus Christ. So, what differentiates a Christian leader from the rest of the world is that the main aim of a Christian leader is to show that he or she is not the most important leader after all. At the heart of Christian leadership is something not-quite-so “leader-like:” submission.
2. We learn to “let go.”
First of all, we are not in control. Our Father is God and He is “in heaven.” He rules the universe. Second of all, we are not in control. Jesus is King and He rules with a supreme and perfect agenda. Third of all, we are not in control. Our lives are short, our bodies are weak, and we are fairly dumb creatures when it really comes down to it (Is. 53:6). Every day we need to remind ourselves that we are not in control. We need teammates who will prove themselves friends by reminding us that we are not in control. When we pray, “Our Father in heaven,” we remember that God, not us, “has the whole world in his hands.”
3. We learn to worship.
We want the world to love our Father. Leading others to cherish God is the highest calling of any man or woman. When we pray, “Our Father… hallowed be your name,” we long not merely for the world to worship God, we also long to experience the joy of seeing God’s name hallowed above all others. So we remind ourselves of the task before us in each and every day: worship God and lead others to do so likewise. This is as true for small team leaders as it is for large team leaders. If you lead others, no matter your context, your job is to lead them to the proper worship of God.
4. We learn to connect with Jesus.
When we pray “our Father,” we not only signify the authority of God over us, we also connect ourselves to the divine Son of the divine Father. Jesus also submitted in prayer to His “Father” (Jn. 17). In submission to the Father, Jesus is like our “brother” (Heb. 2:11-12). He is “like us,” having suffered in our world, in a human body, and for our redemption. But he is not “like us,” having descended from His Father with a divine purpose of saving all of God’s people. With the power of God Almighty, Jesus calls his brothers and sisters to worship. So when we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we follow in the footsteps of Jesus and we are actually the answer to His prayers.
5. We learn to love.
God is not only our sovereign ruler. He is also our loving and relational Dad. He knows us and loves us as His children. As we pray to our Father, we are released to love others because we are loved ourselves. I’m amazed how many leadership books don’t talk about the importance of love in all human relationships. After all, without love, we are “nothing” (1 Cor. 13:2).
Register to win 1 of 10 copies here or in the form below by the end of the day today, Wednesday, April 13th, 2016.