Leading with heart focuses on the followers as much as on the task or goal at hand. Where the treasure is there will the heart be also. If the heart is with the people then the leader will:
LOVE THE PEOPLE AS CHRIST LOVED
To lead with heart you must really care about the people you lead. Come close to them and seek their good. Pastoral visitation is key. As you get into the homes and lives of those you lead they become real people and not just names on a list. Show your care for them and they will most often return loyalty. As you know them they will know you and trust will be built over time. This is the self denial love seen in the Gospels, and especially at Calvary.
KNOW AND RECOGNIZE PEOPLE'S GIFTEDNES
Whether it is through Spiritual Gifts Seminars or home visits and personal conversation, seek to know what gifts your people have. Recognize those gifts and empower them to use them. Too often we encourage people to discover their talents and then disallow them the free exercise of those gifts. Guidance and monitoring is needed but in an encouraging role, not as an inspector looking for faults.
SHARE YOUR HEART
Most people come to church for basic needs, but as those are met they seek higher levels of satisfaction that only come from involvement. Cold hard facts never motivated anyone. It is when the people see passion for ministry in the leader that they become passionate themselves. We ministers became involved in ministry because of passion. Let that passion show and see if it is not contagious. People follow leaders with vision!
Leading from the heart requires sacrifice. It takes time and energy. It requires mental and spiritual stamina. We can only develop these as we take time with God and the Word in personal times of worship and devotion. Empowered by this time go out and lead with heart so the church can be the people of God set on a hill that no one can ignore!
This was originally published in Best Practices, a free email newsletter from the North American Division Resource Center.