Leadership: Meet people where they are…

Spiritually and emotionally.  One of the most difficult things for a leader (coach, spouse, manager, friend, pastor) is to not impose our expectations and standards of spiritual or emotional maturity on others whom we may be trying to influence, lead or disciple.  People simply grow at different rates, and all (including you and me) are imperfect and susceptible to backsliding.  Jesus knew that.   So did the Apostle Paul.  “And we urge you… be patient with them all.” (1 Thessalonians 5:14). “The fruit of the Spirit is patience…” (Galatians 5:22)  That is one of the great benefits of the coaching technique of asking open ended questions.  Ask “Why…?”  “How…?” The counseling classic is “How does that make you feel?”  Or Dr. Phil’s, “And How has that been working for you?”  Give time for an answer.  Pause while they formulate an answer.  Silence is not bad in this case, it means they are engaged with your question.  Then ask, “And what else?”  Dig deeper.  Jesus was not fond of superficial questions. He zeroed in on what truly mattered, and if you do so with a sincere and loving heart, you might be pleasantly surprised at how your relationships will become more productive, more meaningful, closer.  Listen more, talk less.  Strive for understanding with empathy, and not control with pre-conceived expectations.

2 thoughts on “Leadership: Meet people where they are…

    1. The most effective way to witness is to tell others what difference Christ has made in Your life. No one can argue or deny what you have experienced, plus you will not risk putting others on the defensive. Consider two excellent books on relational evangelism by Bill Hybels: Becoming a Contagious Christian, and Just Walk Across the Room. Keep in mind the truism that “People don’t care what you know unless they know you care.” Undergird all of your witnessing efforts with prayer. As Christians we don’t do the saving. We are merely vehicles for the work of the Holy Spirit through us. – Blessings, George


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