Effective Leadership Is Sensitive to Others

Some pastors and Christian leaders appear to want to be “spiritual dictators” who control their people rather than servants who seek to help others grow. I once heard the pastor of a large church say,"I’m not a dictator, I’m the only tator.” How sad … More

Leadership

When John Knox was on his deathbed he said, “God knows that my mind was always void of hatred to the persons of those against whom I thundered my severest judgments.” It is possible to hate the sin but love the sinner. Effective rebuke is the kind that is given with the arm of love around the other person. Rebuke given in the spirit of anger may hurt and even terrify; but the rebuke given in a loving spirit can break the heart. When Paul rebuked, the last thing he wanted to be was domineering. Effective leadership is sensitive to the needs of others.

These false teachers, who invaded the Corinthian church were guilty of being dictators. They had attempted to turn the hearts of the people away from Paul, who had sacrificed  so much for them (II Corinthians 11). In contrast to this, we see Paul’s compassion for the people in not wanting to “pull rank” on them (1:24). Even though he had great authority as an apostle, he did not want to “lord it over” them.  Dictatorial type leadership may produce compliance, but not obedience that comes from wanting to serve the Lord, which is what Paul wanted.

Paul refrained from going to Corinth in person to avoid having to rebuke them and mar the fellowship he had with them in the gospel (vv. 1-3). Why change joy into sorrow if he could handle this problem through correspondence. Before he reached Corinth in person, he wanted to have the Corinthians problems settled and their questions answered. Then his visit would be positively joyous, and not negatively frustrating. At the time he wrote this letter, he was suffering terribly. His eyes were full of tears, and his heart was broken. He didn’t want to make the people feel bad. He only wanted to let them know how much he cared for them (v. 4). “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Prov. 27:6).

Application

When problems come between Christian brothers it is so easy to want to have our own way so strongly that we destroy the testimony of Christ in the process. Lord, help me to be able to promote  a positive spirit among others even when I have to deal with negative things.

II Corinthians 2:1-4 (English Standard Version)

For I made up my mind not to make another painful visit to you. For if I cause you pain, who is there to make me glad but the one whom I have pained? And I wrote as I did, so that when I came I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice, for I felt sure of all of you, that my joy would be the joy of you all. For I wrote to you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you.

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