Leadership by Having Compassion
- Tuesday, August 16, 2011
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article is part of the Jesus . . . Single Like Me series.
Jesus lived his life as a single adult till his death. Because he lived his life as a single adult, he understands every aspect of what you and I are experiencing today. This series examines the "singleness" of Christ in relation to our singleness with the hope you will be encouraged to walk this journey you have been given. A journey that not only leads to the cross for our salvation but to his resurrection for our future.
Many years ago when my niece Keely was five years old we were playing Barbies. I had grown tired of playing Barbies as the plot was always the same. She wanted the Barbies to share what their names were and that they were going to the ball and what they would be wearing. So one day I decided to mix things up a bit. I decided I would not go along with her role playing and instead responded in ways I knew she wouldn't like. As she presented her Barbie to me she said, "Hello, my name is Anna. What is your name"? I said, "I don't feel like telling you my name." Keely then looked at me with a surprised expression. She then proceeded to say, "What are you going to wear to the ball?” I said, “I'm not going to no stinking ball." She gasped and hesitantly said, "I'm going to wear this dress,” as she twirled her Barbie around. “You're going to wear that ugly dress?" I asked.
Then Keely said something that was totally unexpected and shocked me. She said, "You're just acting like a lost person. You need Jesus." I was like, “What?” (realizing what she had said but asking for clarification to make sure she knew what she was saying). She repeated, "You're just acting like a lost person. You need Jesus." Then she took her Barbie’s little hands and laid them on my Barbie’s shoulders and prayed, "Jesus, help her." I was like, “What?” She then seemed frustrated and ran and got the only boy doll she had, Woody from Toy Story (a.k.a. a substitute pastor), and he laid hands on me. The next thing I knew she was running the bath and told me my Barbie was going to get baptized. I just rolled in laughter.
You see, what I learned that day was not only did Keely see, listen and repeat what she had seen her father and mother do, but she took it a step further. She had compassion. She cared about me (Barbie) and my behavior, and she was concerned that I was lost due to my behavior. Keely had learned from her parents (as her leaders) what real ministry is about. Leading people only by telling them what they need to be doing isn't enough. You have to first live it yourself by walking with folks daily. You have to show you really care by spending time with people—so that as you spend time together, you build trust and this trust will allow you to not only be in people's lives but promote healthy changes for Christ.
Jesus Single Like Me has showed over and over and over again his compassion for others. Below are three different stories of his compassion and what I have learned as a leader.
As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?”
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