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Traits – Loves People

This week as I continue sharing traits of an effective leader, I focus on the need for leaders to work hard at building relationships with the people they lead. As a task-oriented person, I have had to learn how important it is to be people oriented as well. I remember a pastor I served under would often tell his staff, “The most important thing in leading people is relationship, relationship, relationship. As a leader you will sometimes need to spend relational capital so make sure you have capital to spend.” The work of creating and sharing a vision, planning programs, leading teams, administrating the work of the church, and facilitating organizational change is important work. But none of these things happen without healthy, trusting and loving relationships with those you serve the Lord with. An oft spoken piece of wisdom is that people don’t care how much you know unless they know how much you care for them. As a leader it is important to build trust and good will by demonstrating humility, integrity, kindness, patience, gratitude, and genuine concern for those you are called to serve and lead. The last night that Jesus would spend with his disciples before his crucifixion, he shared an important admonition, “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35). The greatest attribute we can aspire to as followers of Jesus and leaders in His church is how we love others. It is worth our best effort. – Dr. Gary Mathes