Certainly critical aspects would be someone who possesses compassion and understanding. If they can’t understand you, then how can they lead you? Sure, one can lead without understanding and little to no compassion, but I am talking about great leaders, not ones that people follow out of fear or without a choice.
Years ago, when my husband first started as the children’s pastor at our very large church, one of his first responsibilities was to lead the annual Vacation Bible School program. The number of children and volunteers went way beyond anything we had experienced in the past.
The first night of the program Murphy’s Law ensued and madness seemed rampant. He was doing a great job, considering he had only started weeks before, but even so, he was very discouraged. His boss was there, watching the insanity, and it seemed to build as the night barreled on, along with the unending stream of problems…or should I say “opportunities.” Well, the opportunities were endless.
What happened next I will never forget, I can see it clearly even now. As I overlooked from the lobby, among all the chaos, his boss approached him calling over one of my husband’s friends. They got into a circle with their arms on each of his shoulders and they prayed for him. I stood in shock. Along with the extreme number of children and volunteers, this too was something we had not experienced previously. As tears streamed down my face, I knew we were in the right place. I had fully expected him to be reprimanded; and I am sure he feared the same as well.
Fast-forward ten years, and to say that my husband has done a great job would be a gross understatement. Biased, I know, but it is true. What Pastor Tim Winters poured in ten years ago, which took only minutes, has had far reaching results.
Whoever you are leading—whether it be your own children, a team at work, or a ministry—remember to be an understanding, compassionate leader. It will go a long way. It may even span across ten years time.