Sensitive Leaders

Acts 17:1–9; 1 Thessalonians 2:1–6

Never once did we try to win you with flattery, as you well know. And God is our witness that we were not pretending to be your friends just to get your money! As for human praise, we have never sought it from you or anyone else. (1 Thessalonians 2:5–6)

Good leaders are sensitive to the needs of others. Paul compared his ministry to a mother who tenderly cares for the needs of her children. I love that word picture. I watched my wife nursing our children when they were tiny, without giving one thought to her own needs. It has been my joy as well to witness my grown daughters caring for our grandchildren too. It’s a precious sight to behold.

Watching my wife and daughters gently cradle their little ones close to their breasts, and lovingly providing for their needs, helps me understand what Paul meant by “gentleness.” His ministry was marked by a gentle nurturing of the flock. Paul says, “I was like a mother nursing a child, in my manner among you.”

If God has placed you in a leadership responsibility, I urge you to cultivate a spirit of gentleness. It is after all a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23). Your tenderness will work wonders in the lives under your care.

Spiritual leaders need to be real, gentle, understanding, and empathetic. You and I appreciate spiritual leaders who consistently reveal their human sides. Contrary to popular opinion, Paul, the strong-hearted, passionate, gritty leader was also known for his gentleness and grace.

Are you known for yours?

Taken from Great Days with the Great Lives by Charles Swindoll. Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll. Used by permission of HarperCollins Christian Publishing.

Posted in Bible Characters, Leadership, Pastors and tagged , .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.