~~~~Acts 17:1-9 & 1 Thessalonians 2:1-6~~~~
Godly leaders must have the love of God shed abroad in their hearts. They cannot give his love to others if they do not possess it. So, it is imperative for a minister-leader to lead with a true servants heart that genuinely loves God. The love of God he or she possesses then can flow out to their flock and to all people they encounter.
Good leaders have affection for people. Paul writes, so being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us. ( I Thess. 2:8). He was a great leadership example unto the flock. Paul didn’t shrink from showing his affections unto his flock. He showed his heartfelt emotions to them. That strong man, an apostle of Christ looking back on the Thessalonians said, “Oh, what an affection I had for you. How dear and precious you were to me.” Those are affectionate words of intimacy from a shepherd to his flock.
Leaders should keep their demonstrations of showing love and affection simple. There are various ways to show affection. One example is continual small acts of kindness. Another example is by stated and written words of appreciation and love. Those you lead should already have notes of appreciation, encouragement, and words of affection from their under-shepherds heart. They should be accustomed to your expressions of affection.
Small yet frequent acts of kindness speak louder than words. No one is so important that he or she is above kindness. No one is too humble that he or she does not need kindness. This aspect of leadership sometimes takes courage and a spirit confident in God’s grace. If a man or woman does not enjoy people or have a love for them, it would be better not to be in a leadership position. We are to tend to the flock, care for them, and continually pour out the love of God that flows in us into those he has entrusted us with.
The ministry and the world needs more ministers-leaders (servant-hearted souls) to lead as Paul led, with sensitivity and affection toward others. Jesus led by example when he took time to show love to all he met. He poured his love into his disciples as an example for them to do likewise to others. Love and affection when appropriately given, fills the gap when words alone fail to comfort. If people know you love and value them, they’ll go to the wire for you!
Paul told the Christians at Thessalonica that he loved them. They never got over it. They never forgot it. He led by example so they too would do the same. They did likewise pouring out the love of God to others.
May we minsters-leaders always lead by example in loving others as he loves us. By this shall all man know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:35). This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. (John 15:12).