This week principals have been meeting for their biannual conference under the theme of, Leadership in Challenging Times. Opening keynote speaker Mark McCrindle unpacked the changing nature of Australian society and its impact on our schools. One of his key messages was the need for our schools to be responsive and adaptive to the challenging and ever changing societal trends.
Jesus’ disciples were often faced with challenges in which they also had to be responsive and adaptive. One of their more significant challenges occurred forty days after Easter when Jesus ascended up into heaven. For the disciples, their fearless leader who encouraged and empowered them to achieve so much appeared to have left them. How were they going to respond? How were they going to adapt?
Fortunately, Jesus provided the answer. Just before he ascended he told the disciples,
This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations… I am going to send you what my Father has promised (i.e. the Holy Spirit) Luke 24:46-49
Jesus left his disciples two things: his name (and everything it stood for) and the Holy Spirit. Their response was to go out and adapt to the change. Filled with the Holy Spirit they went and shared the name of Jesus. As they did so all sorts of wonderful things occurred: people were healed, people believed, and the church grew.
As we lead, one of the challenges we have is identifying how best to proclaim the Gospel in an ever-changing society. Oh, the pressure! While it’s good to think about this there is also a danger in over-thinking it because of what the ascension tells: ultimately only two things are necessary – the name of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Yes, we can come up with all kinds of fancy and snazzy ways of sharing the Gospel but at the end of the day, it is the Holy Spirit who transform peoples’ lives in the name of Jesus. Thank God for that!
Spiritual & Cultural Leader