Simple Leadership: 5 Great Ways to bring simplicity to your leadership

A post for Pastors and Church Leaders

Leadership is notoriously complex. It would be nice if simple leadership was within our grasp. We wrestle with problems, issues, and sometimes people. Not to mention that leaders need to point a clear direction on subjects like vision, mission, and values. Faith based leadership isn’t any easier either. Pastors struggle to lead their churches under a burden of leadership that won’t let up. Often they want to quit. I know, because over the years I’ve wanted to quit as well.

The key to continuing is to make simple leadership your goal.

[clickToTweet tweet=”#Pastor, make simple #leadership your goal.” quote=”Make simple leadership your goal.” theme=”style3″]

Here’s five ways to work towards simple leadership:

1. Don’t take everything so seriously.

When I first began this church leadership journey, there was a pastor who told me to preach every time like it was my last. With all the passion, enthusiasm, and knowledge I have. To be clear, I think his advice is good. Pastors who preach should always preach like everything depends on their message, because God gave them their message and because it might be someone’s last shot at finding Christ. However, it’s also good to keep things in perspective.

Unless you die or Jesus returns, there will be a another Sunday.

If everything hinges on you, or on one church event, or one church ministry, you might as well pack it up now. The church is stronger than you, so stop taking yourself so seriously.

Should we take our work seriously? Sure. But don’t take yourself so serious. Simple leadership demands that I understand the fact that I’m expendable. God has other people who can take my place, and frankly, probably can do a better job than me.

Every situation, event, problem, issue, or question is NOT life and death. Some are. But most aren’t. Taking everything so seriously will add complexity and undue stress to your leadership. So stop.

2. Take time for your family.

God gave you your family. They need you. They don’t just need a part of you. You may be the pastor of a great church with loads of potential, but you are also the pastor of your family, and they deserve to have you around.

Each parent only has their children at home for a little while. What those kids remember is up to you.

Church is important, but so is your family.

[clickToTweet tweet=”#Church is important, but so is your #family. #pastor #faith” quote=”Church is important, but so is your family.” theme=”style3″]

I’ve never served in a large church. They have always been what I would call a normal size church of around 200 people. In a church this size there is a temptation to do too much. And the people who pay for your overwork is your family.

Make a plan to spend a few days together. Take a vacation. Enjoy a movie. If the church is going to fall apart because you aren’t there for a service or two, then you have much bigger problems anyway. However, I doubt your church will crumble if you miss a service to take some time with your family. In the long run, a strong family helps to create a strong church.

3. Focus on the most important things.

What are the top three things that only you can do? To have simple leadership, those are the things you need to focus on.

There’s no way that a pastor can effectively lead everything in a church. Your focus will be divided and eventually you will burn out. It’s just a fact. You can look at any statistic website you want and find that pastors quit at alarmingly high rates.

If you don’t want to end up being a statistic, stop focusing on everything and begin focusing on your top three things. This doesn’t mean you don’t care about everything, because any pastor worth their salt will care. It simply means you cannot give everything equal focus. Your church might not understand at first, but they will thank you in the long run.

My top three are preaching, leading toward our vision, and shepherding people. At this point, these things are not negotiable. Maybe your top three are different. That’s OK. But whatever they are give those things your one hundred percent. The key to simple leadership is focusing on a few things instead of  half-heartedly leading many.

4. Build friendships with people.

There used to be this notion that a pastor or church leader had to separate themselves from those they lead. The idea was, if you get too close to people they won’t respect you as a leader. What a dumb idea!

The closer you get to people, the more vulnerable you allow yourself to be, the more real you actually become. People don’t follow leaders because they appear larger than life, they follow them because they see something of themselves in their leader.

Believe it or not, those you lead want to be close to you. They care about you just like you care about them. Or, they would care about you if you gave them the opportunity to know you and be close to you.

I love the people I have the chance to serve. They are some of my closest friends. I love working with our church board, and count them not only as fellow leaders, but friends. Did it start out this way? Probably not. Friendship takes time, effort, and the willingness to put yourself out there. But you know what? I’m glad I did.

Whenever or if ever I have to leave my current leadership position, I won’t just be leaving a job, but I will have built life-long friendships that I cherish. It makes a pastor’s job much easier when he or she is friends with those they serve. If you want to have simple leadership, start being a real friend to those you serve.

5. Don’t stress over about things outside your control.

This is easier said than done. I get it. But let me ask you a question…

Why would you stress about something you have no possibility of helping? A motto I’ve lived by that serves me well is: Only stress about what you can help.

If I can’t personally fix the problem, or resolve the issue, it doesn’t mean I don’t care about it, I’m just making up my mind not to stress about it. There really is a difference.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Only stress about what you can help. #pastor #church #faith” quote=”Only stress about what you can help.” theme=”style3″]

Simple leadership destroys stress. It does it by making proactive decisions about when and where to use stress. Honestly, stress can be leveraged into a great tool, but only when applied in the right way.

Think about it…almost every hand tool requires stress and pressure to do what they were made to do. A hammer turns stress into action that drives a nail. A screwdriver uses stress to put things together. But you don’t see people using a hammer or screwdriver to paint their wall. Why? All the stress in the world won’t work in that situation.

Pastor, if something is outside of your control, stress isn’t the answer to fix it. Trusting God is.

In conclusion…

At its core, simple leadership revolves around trusting God. Simple leadership learns to recognize that everything cannot revolve around you. You can make the choice to create simple leadership that stands the test of time or you can choose to add layers of complexity to your life and organization. Which are you going to choose?

Question: How do you practice simple leadership?

Further reading:

How to improve your leadership by leading with integrity

How to be a better leader and influence more people

Four limiting beliefs you should stop believing immediately

Giving up on your dream: 25 questions to ask before you do

Perfectionist: Quit Trying To Be Perfect

Three Thoughts To Help You Conquer Your Pursuit Of Perfection

Perfectionist, there is no such thing as perfect.

Often we are tempted to look at other people and compare our self to them. Their glaring weaknesses are never what show up in our thoughts, but rather we see all the spectacular wins and successes they seem to acquire.
Perfection gets even more elusive when you couple it with a comparison. However, today I want you to know that there is a freedom you can live in…Freedom from being perfect.

You were never perfect, to begin with. Your flaws and mistakes are absolutely part of you, but in Jesus, all of those qualities disappear. God covers you with the blood of Jesus Christ his Son, and you become a new person.

I know you probably remember the verse I am about to quote, but I ask you to please read it again with fresh eyes.

2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Perfectionism has to bow to the new life found in Jesus Christ. The person you never thought you could live up to being, the one with perfectionist tendencies, is dead, and a brand new person had breathed in the breath of life when you became a Christian. Jesus takes away the old and brings in the new, and thank God for it.

The key to winning your battle with perfectionism is to stay in Christ. You have to keep yourself rooted and grounded in him. Don’t slip away from your relationship with him.
The most valuable qualities you will ever possess, find their way to the surface through your relationship with Jesus. He recreates you and forms you into the person you were created to be in the first place, and it is not a perfectionist.
It is likely that when you think of yourself, you think of the imperfections and all the qualities about yourself that you do not like. However, if you are a Christian, I am asking you to stop thinking about yourself and set your eyes on Jesus. He is the author and finisher of your faith, and he can build up a new set of qualities in your life based on the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Here are a couple of things a perfectionist should think about this week:

1.) Perfection is not possible so quit striving for it.

Humans are flawed. We make mistakes. We fall short of the goal. Jesus came to span the space between YOUR best effort and God’s creative power and purpose in your life. You cannot get there on your own. It will require the power of God in your life. Quit trying to be a perfectionist and start living a simpler life by following God’s path.

2.) God never expected perfection from you in the first place.

Even though you are a perfectionist, God knows you are not perfect. He understands your weaknesses. He sees when you put forth your best effort, even though your effort cannot reach the goal line. However, unlike the world, God does not expect you to be perfect. In fact, he knows you cannot be.
[clickToTweet tweet=”God never expected your to be perfect. #perfectionism” quote=”God never expected your to be perfect. ” theme=”style3″]
You are clothed with perfection when you put on Jesus Christ as Lord of your life. Perfection is not something you can be; it is something you put on. You put on the perfection of Jesus. You live in him and walk in him with the complete understanding that he never sinned and never made a mistake. You allow him to guide and direct your life. When you do these simple things, the pressure leaves, and peace starts to grow in your heart and mind.

3.) Getting to the goal line in life takes one simple quality. Faithfulness.

One time Jesus spoke a parable about money. In the parable, he compared the efforts of those who had received a degree of money to manage. Those who had received the money were expected to show effort and try to increase it through wise investments.
One of the money managers was afraid. He thought he would lose the money his master gave him if he invested it. So he just hid it in the ground. At least he would not lose it, right? Wrong.
When the master returned from his journey and inquired with each money manager, he found that the first two men had increased his money through wise investments, but when he came to the third, the master was angry because the man had no effort to show. What the master said is eye-opening: “You should have at least put my money in the bank so it could gain some interest.” (paraphrase)
Listen, banks do not provide excellent interest. The master was not looking to become wealthy from the effort of those he put in charge of his money. The master was already rich. He was giving his men a test of FAITHFULNESS. What would these men decide to DO with the opportunity they had received? Their faithfulness was the quality being tested, not their skill.
The master was only looking for faithfulness. Listen to what he said to those who put forth effort:

Matthew 25:21 NKJV – His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

Well done.

Who had done well? The ones who were faithful.

He called them “good” and “faithful.” They were not good because of what they did. They were good because they were the master’s servants. However, faithfulness was THEIR choice. They chose to be faithful in the little things, and because of their choice, the master was pleased.
God is not looking for perfection from you. He is looking for faithfulness. Quit being a perfectionist. God would much rather have a person who makes mistakes, admits them, and receives guidance or forgiveness, than an individual who strives for a perfection they can never reach on their own.
What will you be? Perfect or faithful? Perfection on your own merits is an illusion, but you can choose to be faithful.

Here’s a growing list of articles, posts, and resources to help you build strong faith. If you grow your faith, it will be a key to living an effective life. Enjoy!

Faith Building Challenge

Sometimes we know we need a little push, but we can’t seem to do it on our own. My five-day faith building challenge is the little push you need to jump start your faith. In it, you will find easy, actionable, and strategic steps to help you build your faith. I would love the opportunity to help you along the way. To join the challenge, sign up below, and I’ll send you an email to get you started.

8 Ways To Reach Your Dream Starting Today


You don’t want to look back in 10 years and realize you were the reason you didn’t reach your dreams.

I’m a dreamer. On some level, I believe I’ve always been a person of dreams and vision. But just because a person can dream doesn’t mean they will automatically reach their dreams.

To reach a dream involves work. You cannot sit on the sidelines and do nothing. So many people do this very thing. They hope, and pray, and wish for something new and amazing to happen in their life. They may even have a mental picture of what they want their life to look like, but the reality is, you have to do something about your dreams.

Dreams are just pictures of what could be. They are the visions of a future you desire for yourself, and while it’s great to be a dreamer, you’ll never make it to the place you hope for fueled only by desire.

I’ve had the opportunity to counsel with those who have marriage problems like issues with trust, intimacy; even verbal abuse. They want their relationship to get better. They desire to be closer to their spouse, but they never put in the work to make it happen. They’ve told me they want to build trust or stop saying hurtful words, but without the work they never get the result.

You’ve probably known others who really wanted to create a strong relationship with their children, but they refused to take the time to do it.

The list could go on and on:
– Dreams of a more loving home
– Dreams of a more stable income
– Dreams of a better spiritual life and deeper relationship with God
– Dreams of becoming healthier and whole
– Dreams of helping others and making a bigger impact

Dreams are noble. And many times, your dream is completely attainable. However, you can’t allow yourself to be the lid that stops your hopes. Too many people become the lid that caps off their future and their potential.

For over twenty years in pastoral ministry, I’ve had the opportunity to see people do this, and on occasions, to work with them. Most never realize that they are the problem. So before you become your own stumbling block, allow me to give you a few things I’ve observed over the years that we all have the tendency to do.
These things block your dreams and sometimes kill your dream altogether.

Here are eight ways to reach your dream starting today:

1. Have the willingness to risk things.

Dreams require risk, period. You have to be willing to put yourself out there and do things that are risky. If you want to develop a deeper marriage relationship, for instance, you cannot remain distant, emotionally closed, and untouchable. To have deeper friendships you have to risk your feelings and the potential that you might get hurt.

Playing everything safe and inside the lines may keep your life where it currently is, but it will never advance you forward. Taking a risk is a necessary part of the work required to reach a dream and pursue a vision.

2. Stop being afraid.

Fear will hold your life hostage if you allow it to. This was one of my problems for years. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly haven’t reached all my dreams, but I can say with excitement that I have reached some of them.

Fear will be the stumbling block that keeps you from launching out. It’s not that you don’t have the talent or ability. In some cases that might be true, but most people who dare to dream of something more, something bigger, have already put in the work to develop their talents and abilities.

You can do it, but you let fear stop you, and it’s a shame.

The world needs your dream. We need to see you live up to your potential. We WANT to see you live up to it.

The people closest to you need you to reach your dream because 90% of the time a dream impacts them for the better too. Don’t let fear make you miss your it. Ten years from now, you don’t want to be that guy or that girl who WISHES they’d have had the guts to launch.

3. Be vocal about your dream.

Listen…you have to speak up about your dreams. No one is going to get out there and do it for you. God has gifted you, and placed something special in your heart. It is a desire that has the potential to change things in your life, but you have to believe in your dream enough to speak up about it.

Too many dreams have silently slipped into nothingness because their owner never had the courage to speak them out.

Here’s the thing: When you speak something out of your mouth, it becomes more real. The more you talk about it, the greater you convince yourself of its reality. Scripture says that, “faith comes by hearing.” This principle holds true no matter what you apply it to.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Many dreams silently slip into nothingness because you don’t have the courage to speak them out. ” quote=”Many dreams silently slip into nothingness because you don’t have the courage to speak them out.” theme=”style2″]

It’s true that you shouldn’t tell your dreams to just anyone. Some people will discourage you from reaching for them. They won’t believe in you. But you have to be willing to speak to yourself.

I remember when I first began “declaring” things in my life. It felt silly like I was just talking to myself or something. In reality, when you speak out or maintain your belief in your dreams, it’s a form of prayer that not only speaks to God but also builds up your faith. Your dreams take on a reality that they would not have otherwise.

4. Put in the effort necessary to reach your dream.

Over the years, I’ve heard people talk about their dreams, but somewhere along the way, talk becomes all they do. They talk about it but never take action.

This is one of the saddest things of all, because you know they have the potential to reach what they’re talking about. Don’t you hate it when you see someone who obviously has the ability, skill, talent, and connections, just throw away their potential? I do. I’ve seen so many people do this, but what’s worse is I’ve heard them complain at the same time about not going anywhere in life.

Listen, don’t complain. If you’re not going to do anything to reach your dream then stop complaining about it. You could reach it if you just tried.

5. If you fail, get back up and try again.

This involves some of the fear that we talked about earlier. If you’ve tried before and your attempts failed, I can understand and relate. You may not want to try again, but remember, there have been so many others who stood in your place and made a successful go of it just because they made an effort to try again.
It is cliche to talk about how many times Thomas Edison failed before he developed the light bulb, but it doesn’t make it any less true.

Where would we be if everyone who failed, simply gave up?

The unwillingness to try again can come from several different sources. One time I tried something, and it failed. I didn’t have the resources to try that particular idea again, at least not in the same way. It doesn’t mean I’ve given up on the notion though.

You can raise funds, put down your pride, get the help, go a different route, make a change, or whatever, but don’t quit just because you failed one time.

6. Be the example of sacrifice.

Dreams require sacrifice. You have to give up to go up. Every dream worth reaching always involves other people too. If you won’t sacrifice, don’t think that those around you will.

The lack of sacrifice comes from one of two places: You either don’t believe in your dream enough to sacrifice for it, or you’re selfish.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Dreams require sacrifice.” quote=”Dreams require sacrifice.” theme=”style2″]

If you believed in your dream deep down in your heart, I mean really believed it was possible, you would sacrifice. A sacrifice isn’t as much a sacrifice if it has the potential of great reward. Having a belief in your dream is critical because reaching it will always take things out of you and from you, at first.

Vision and dreams don’t pay off in the short-term outlook. Their reward comes when you stick with them over the long haul.

On the other hand, if you’re too selfish to sacrifice, just quit talking about your dreams and save us all some time.

7. Lead yourself well.

The other quality that dreams will always require is discipline. Good, old fashioned, hardcore, discipline is the ability to lead yourself. If you can’t lead yourself, you’ll never reach your dream.

Here’s the reason: Reaching a dream takes motivation.

Nobody is going to be your cheerleader or motivator all the time; it’s going to be up to you. You have to get good at motivating yourself and leading yourself to change where change is necessary. It takes discipline to do this.

What qualities will it take to reach the dream that’s in your heart? Whatever they are I bet it will take the leadership of discipline to build them into your life. If you can’t lead yourself, you’ll never make it. The thing is, having discipline, motivation, and leading yourself are a choice. You can choose to have or do these things. If you really want to live in that dream of yours, be willing to lead yourself into the qualities that will make it happen.

8. Sell out to your dream.

Selling out to your dream is the deepest form of faith, sacrifice, and risk. It is saying, “I’m all in.” Selling out is holding nothing back, giving all you have, and betting the farm.

Few people are willing to sell out to reach their dreams, but those who do usually reach them.

I don’t know what selling out will mean for you. It’s something that you have to calculate on your own.

Studying scripture has made me realize that Jesus had a dream. His dream was that humanity would have a bridge to get to God. So Jesus spent every waking hour taking risks, enduring arguments, giving up his personal rights, developing those around him, and sacrificing.

In the end, Jesus sold out to his dream. He died for it. Jesus died for you. He created the bridge to God. His dream for humanity become a reality.

You probably won’t have to die for your dream, but your pride may have to. Your frivolous wants and desires may have to die for you to reach your dream. Your fear will certainly have to die.

If you really want to reach your dream, then sell out to it.

[clickToTweet tweet=”In the end, Jesus sold out to his dream. He died for it. Jesus died for you.” quote=”In the end, Jesus sold out to his dream. He died for it. Jesus died for you.” theme=”style2″]

My hope is that you reach your fullest potential and live your dream. My prayer is that this post helps make it a little more possible.

Would you mind to do two things for me?
First, if this post has pushed you to take some steps toward your dream, or encouraged you, if you’ve received value from it, share it on your social media so it can help someone else.

Second, let me keep pushing you to reach your dream by signing up for my Faith Building Challenge. You can do that below.

Faith Building Challenge

One Habit That Will Immediately Improve Your Relationships

How the art of being a lid lifter can change your life

How to become a lid lifter

So yesterday I was unloading supplies at our church, and something caught my attention.

It was a little sticker on top of a chili can, and it made me stop and think. As soon as I saw the sticker, I knew God was reminding me of something, and I decided to blog about it.

Here’s the sticker…


I want to remind you that you are a lid lifter in someone’s life. Even if you feel discouraged yourself, one of the best ways to overcome discouragement is to start lifting another person’s lid.

[clickToTweet tweet=”One of the best ways to overcome discouragement is to start lifting another person’s lid.” quote=”One of the best ways to overcome discouragement is to start lifting another person’s lid.” theme=”style2″]

Everyone has “handles” in their life that serve as places where we can pick people up. How many times have you felt like you needed a lift, but there was no one there to lift you? If you’ve ever felt that way, why not be the solution to another person’s problem and lift them up.

Maybe an encouraging word would serve to lift them up just a bit…give one.
If lending them a hand at work would help…give a hand.
Even if you can’t see what to do to help someone, maybe just say a prayer for them and then tell them you did.

People just want to be encouraged and lifted when life beats them down, so why not be the person who makes a difference and does these things? It usually requires a small amount time but makes a world of difference.

Here’s what I hope you will do today:

Look for the “pull tabs” in someone’s life.

Look for those places in their life you can use to open them up and breathe in a breath of fresh air. Sometimes people bottle up their pressures and problems until they reach the exploding point. If you are close to someone, take some time today to help them release the tension they have. If you care about them, you don’t want to see them explode.

Look for the “handles” in someone’s life.

If you take the time to look close enough, you’ll see the “handles” you can use to lift someone up. Be willing to do this, because one day you’ll need lifting too. Planting seeds of kindness, help, and love, in someone’s life, will always create a harvest that comes back. When you help others out of a genuine heart of kindness, it’ll come back to you multiplied.

Look for ways to be a lid lifter.

I first remember reading this term in a John Maxwell leadership book. It made a great impression on me, because up to that point, I only focused on myself mostly. What a pointless way to live…just focused on yourself. Putting other people first makes you feel good and offers you a way to input God’s love into their life. So look for ways to lift someone’s lid today.

Let me ask you a question:
How much would it mean to you if someone came along and helped you out today? It might mean the difference between quitting or continuing.

If you want to improve all of your relationships, be a lid lifter.

You can’t help everybody, but you can always help somebody.
Be the difference. Be a lid lifter.

If you want to get a little Motivation to start each week off right, sign up for my Monday Motivation email below. In it you’ll find inspiration, encouragement, and tools to raise your motivation level a little higher all week long.


How to lead people further faster with an often neglected quality

Part 2 in a blog series about leading with kindness

Lead with compassion

Compassion is simple to understand.

Take a moment and think back into your past.

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably been through some difficult situations and challenging circumstances; things that have put your endurance, faith, and resolve to the test.

More than likely you didn’t know what to do, or where to turn at certain junctures of your life. You may have experienced hardships that brought you low and threatened to harm you or your family’s way of living.

These moments of uncertainty are never easy; and we often take the wrong turn in life during them. So, let me ask you a question…

If you’ve ever been sick, or lonely, hurt, disillusioned, confused, or in great need…how did you want people to respond to you?

We have all needed help at some point in our life; and the cardinal rule is simple:

What you do comes back to you.

In those trying times, you probably didn’t want someone to show up and act as a know-it-all. You most likely realized too, that not all your problems could be solved through easy means. But what sort of difference would it have made to you, the last time you were really struggling, if someone would have just shown you genuine compassion?

Compassion is the leader’s ally. It opens the door to the heart.

When you freely give someone compassion, even if you can’t actually meet there need, at the very least, you’ve reached out to their heart.

Compassion is part of kindness.

To lead with kindness, a leader must use compassion to reach the heart of those who are hurting.

[clickToTweet tweet=”To lead with kindness, a leader must use compassion to reach the heart of those who are hurting.” quote=”To lead with kindness, a leader must use compassion to reach the heart of those who are hurting.” theme=”style3″]

As a leader seeking to influence others for their benefit, compassion unlocks doors that were previously shut tight in someone’s life.

It makes a real difference when a leader leads with compassion.

Truthfully, isn’t compassion what you want when life gets difficult?

To keep up with every post in this series, CLICK HERE + you’ll get my Free ebook!

Genuine leaders show compassion

Difficult times require a caring heart.

This is where compassion comes in.

It is that feeling of wanting to help someone in need.

Now, there have been plenty of situations where I experienced great need, you have too. And in many of those times, a friend or family member would come alongside of me and show compassion.

They may not have had the resources to help me, or the answer to my problem; but the simple act of showing compassion meant the world. Why? Because I could feel that they wanted to help.

Believe it or not, those people influenced me and some have even become leaders in my life, simply because I saw in them, a heart of concern and care for me.

Never underestimate the power of compassion.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Never underestimate the power of compassion.” quote=”Never underestimate the power of compassion.” theme=”style3″]

Let me ask you a question:

As a leader, are you able to look at someone through a tender heart and realize, “this person needs help”?

If a leader cannot feel this basic compassion for someone, he or she won’t go very far in their influence. They may have a title, or hold a position; but they won’t really be a leader; because leadership is about influencing others.

Compassion in a real leader’s heart doesn’t just stop when it recognizes a problem. It goes a step further. To lead with kindness means that you don’t only see that a person needs help; but you say to yourself, “this person needs my help”.

Leaders are willing to step in with compassion when others have already checked out because they don’t know how to help. A leader will find ways to show compassion to hurting people.

Leaders who lead with kindness understand the power of using compassion.

Now, here’s the thing when it comes to compassion and leadership:

Genuine leaders don’t show compassion to others just to gain followers.

To the contrary, effective leaders want to show compassion because they have a genuine care and concern for people.

Real leaders who desire to make others go forward, are not out for their own benefit; but instead, seek the growth of those they lead. Compassion is a powerful tool of persuasion and influence; but it should never be used as false quality.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Genuine leaders don’t show compassion to others just to gain followers.” quote=”Genuine leaders don’t show compassion to others just to gain followers.” theme=”style3″]

When a leader leverages compassion, it is meant to be a tool used to aid, help, restore, and fix someone’s heart. When leaders think in these terms, they become the sort of leaders that other not only need; but what people want too.

Everyone is looking for someone to genuinely care about them. It’s something built into us. We need and want people in our lives that have positive effects on us. Whether the leader can actually fix the problem isn’t always the point. The point is, a leader becomes effective when they care about others and show real compassion.

There’s a hidden, often overlooked secret going on behind the scenes when leaders reach out to touch a heart through compassion…People follow them.

In fact, people are always drawn to those who reach out to help them in their time of need. And the thing is, needs can show up in all sorts of categories.

Shepherd your followers

There are physical needs that can be met through giving physical help. An example might be the person who gives to feed the hungry, or donates clothing, or even someone who opens their home in a time of need to a hurting family member.

There are also emotional needs which can often be helped by simply offering genuine words of care and concern. When it comes to helping people emotionally, the vast majority of leaders aren’t necessarily trained to deal with everything; yet, in the end we call all offer a kind word of encouragement, a shoulder to cry on, or we can share in the joy of a hard-won victory.

Finally, every person has spiritual needs whether they realize it or not. And for the Christian leader, it’s important to show compassion to those who are hurting spiritually. Unfortunately, many leaders look at those with spiritual problems and the leader feels like they are better than them somehow.

But when it comes to spirituality, we are all on a level playing field. If it weren’t for the transforming power of Jesus Christ, no one would stand a chance at overcoming their spiritual deficiencies.

What should a Godly leader do?

Godly leaders have one great need:

They need to model the character of God as it relates to compassion.

To get an idea of God’s character in compassion, let me quickly share a few scriptures to see it in action.

Psalm 86:15 NLTse

15 But you, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.

It is easy to see how to apply a verse like this to our leadership. Simply ask yourself, “am I quick to show mercy, or do I hold mistakes over people’s head?”

Ask yourself, “Do I get angry quick, or am I tempered and slow to be angry?”

And the big question, “Am I a leader who shows love?”

Now, love may not be a word generally associated with leadership; but for a leader who seeks to model Christ, love is non-negotiable.

The prophet Hosea paints a graphic picture of the compassion of God, even towards people who have wronged Him.

Hosea 11:8 NLTse

8 “Oh, how can I give you up, Israel? How can I let you go? How can I destroy you like Admah or demolish you like Zeboiim? My heart is torn within me, and my compassion overflows.

The big difference between God and people is shown through what happens when our heart is torn apart by those we lead.

When God’s heart has been torn by the hurtful words, deeds, and actions of those He loves, His heart bleeds compassion for them. How often has your heart poured out compassion when it’s been hurt by those you lead?

Finally, we see one more important illustration in the book of Matthew.

Matthew 9:36 NLTse

36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Jesus was a tremendous leader; and His following proved that and continues to do so. Why was His leadership so effective? Because He took the opportunity to really see people.

And when He saw their hurts, their needs, and their problems…Jesus’ automatic response was compassion.

All great leaders become shepherds of the people they lead. They desire to lead their “flock” into good fields where they can become healthy and strong. Until your leadership can truly “see” others for what they are going through, you won’t be able to show compassion.

Here’s what to do:

1. Take the time to “see” people’s need.

2. Be slow to get angry; but quick to show mercy.

3. Respond to the hurts of others with a heart of love.

4. Care for those who follow your leadership as a shepherd would care for his flock.