[COLUMN] On shared christian leadership

Seeing parents bring their children back to our parish school last Tuesday filled me with joy. It was delightful to witness new parents and students becoming part of our school ministry and family. We sincerely welcome them.

As I looked at the joyful faces of the parents, I couldn’t help but think about the immense responsibility they carry and appreciate their role as parents. In this ever-changing world, especially with the influence of technology, social media, and shifting moral and cultural trends, I pray that God grants them the wisdom and strength to raise their children according to His ways. I also pray that we can effectively partner with them in cultivating the minds and hearts of their children based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Similarly, I was pleased to witness the participation of parents in our Religious Education and Confirmation program during a day of prayer and fellowship organized by Fr. Ramon Reyes and his team in the past two weekends. It is my hope that parents can collaborate more actively in helping our youth fully embrace their Catholic identity and actively engage in their faith.

By now, many individuals must have become familiar with my leadership style, which is characterized by collaboration and shared leadership. I can only fulfill my pastoral, administrative, and spiritual responsibilities with the abilities, skills, leadership, and support of others. I strongly believe in and promote a team approach among staff members and volunteers, encouraging and trusting them to utilize their gifts.

Jesus exemplified this leadership style in this Sunday’s (August 27) Gospel when He entrusted Peter with the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, referring to him as the rock upon which He would build His Church. He told Peter, “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Jesus shared an enormous responsibility with Peter by entrusting him with the Church! Peter must have felt both honored and humbled.

Our role as Christian leaders and parents must always be grounded in our belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Way, the Truth, and the Life. But just like Peter, we too must seek a personal encounter and relationship with Jesus. In this intimacy with him, we can truly understand His identity and purpose in our lives and become humble, strong, and resilient in faith as leaders of our families and communities. With this foundation of prayer, we can declare with conviction, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Our school principal, Dr. Colby Boysen, reminded our students on the opening day of the school that the most essential part of their formation is to know and love Jesus Christ. He is right in this contention, for as we reflect on our society’s challenges, we realize how important it is to keep our faith in Jesus Christ and follow his teachings and the life He shared with us.

Blessings to all!

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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.

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Fr. Rodel “Odey” Balagtas is the pastor of Incarnation Church in Glendale, California.


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