Leading with Understanding: The Compassionate Leader II
Most people expect their leaders to have compassion as well as understanding. A good leader is wise and sympathetically aware of other people’s feelings; loving, tolerant and forgiving. Proverbs 4:7 says, “wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”
Leaders understand that to lead effectively and successfully, they need to attract people who want to follow them. To follow, people must feel confident in the direction in which the leader is headed. I believe to evoke this level of confidence in people, a leader must clearly communicate the overall direction, the key outcomes desired, and the principal strategies agreed upon to reach the outcomes. Jesus made it clear that He was only here to do His Father’s business. “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but to do the will of Him who sent Me.” John 6:38
As a Christian compassion should be one of the main aspects of leadership. Matthew 9:36 states that: “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” The Hebrew and Greek words translated “compassion” in the Bible mean “to have mercy, to feel sympathy and to have pity.” We know that, according to the Bible, God is “a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” A compassionate leader has a sincere interest in seeing their people prosper and thrive in all areas of life. Beloved, I pray that in every way you may prosper and enjoy good health, as your soul also prospers. 3 John 1:2. But this doesn’t mean “being soft” or trying to please people by giving them what they want; rather, it requires giving people what they need, such as tough feedback and love. Compassionate leadership requires having wisdom about how to lead for the greater good and for the long term. Compassionate leaders are strong and have more-engaged followers. I believe compassionate leaders have better relationships, and members who are more trusting, more connected to each other, and more committed to the ministry.
With one accord they continued to meet daily in the temple courts and to break bread from house to house, sharing their meals with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2: 46-47. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers. Acts 16:5
~Deacon David Caldwell