Written by: Janine Couchman 
Article source: JOY! Magazine

We’ll never lead anyone anywhere unless we learn how to become good leaders, but do you want to become a great leader? How does God look at your leadership now? Will it stand the test of time? No matter how successful you think you are, you may be completely missing the mark. And that is the case when you are not leading with love.

Lead out of love
Of course, you need to be leading out of love for God and obedience to Him (Mark 12:30). But that’s only part of the picture of leadership and love. God also requires of us that our leadership be motivated by love for others, and that it be practiced with love. To do otherwise is to violate the second greatest commandment of God. Jesus said that the second greatest commandment is to “love your neighbour as yourself” – Mark 12:31. When we truly love our neighbour as ourselves, then we will lead with love. 

Leadership without love is not profitable
The kind of love that God calls for is a selfless concern for the well-being of others. It is a giving love that is focused on helping others. It is often a sacrificial love that requires that we put the needs of others before ourselves. It is clear that even leadership without love will not profit you anything in God’s eyes.

Ask God on a daily basis to help you be motivated by love for others, and to lead in a loving way.

Practice leading in love
Being motivated by love for others is certainly necessary, but it must be paired with practicing our leadership in love. In other words, we must lead in a loving way. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Let all that you do be done in love” – 1 Corinthians 16:14. When we lead lovingly, the people we lead are encouraged, built up, and strengthened as individuals and as a part of the family of God.

Speak the truth in love
An example of practicing leadership with love is speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). How much better it is to speak the truth compassionately, kindly, and with humility. People are much more receptive to the truth when it is spoken in love. On the other hand, when we are led by the Spirit, and speak the truth with the fruit of the Spirit, then the truth of God can break down barriers and bring positive and powerful changes in people’s lives. 

Listen humbly
Leaders who love will also listen humbly and sincerely to those they influence for feedback about their leadership. Love and humility should give leaders attentive ears to the people in their sphere of influence. They will grow as leaders as they take people’s feedback to the Word and to prayer so God can speak to them concerning the situation.

Serve the people
Another way to explain leadership and love is that, just like a shepherd of sheep, leaders need to keep focused on serving the needs of the people they influence. They should help them to grow spiritually, mentally, emotionally, socially, and in physical health. They should support their holistic health as a child of God.

Ask God to help you
Do you want to become a great leader in God’s eyes? If so, then make it a real priority to lead with love. Take some practical steps towards becoming a more loving leader. Ask God on a daily basis to help you be motivated by love for others, and to lead in a loving way. Leading others with love is crucial to the kingdom of God. It will make the Church a brighter light in this darkened world. Let us come before God, and ask that by His grace we may walk as Jesus did, humbly and lovingly serving others. As we do these things, we will by God’s grace change the world.

Gerry & Janine Couchman are the Regional Director & Co Leader of the Global Leadership Network SA, an NPO that hosts the Global Leadership Summit each year.

Contact Gerry & Janine: janine@globalleadership.org.za

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