Does the pastor genuinely care about people?
That’s the question that lies behind the essence of compassion. The congregation wants to know and wants to see deep compassion for God’s family: a heart that touches on physical and spiritual needs.
For the leader, this does not mean having to attend to every need; rather, it means ensuring that needs are cared for. People need to see the pastor involved in empowering elders, deacons, small group leaders, and others who do much of the congregation’s frontline care. They also need to hear the pastor speaking with a voice of compassion in difficult moments.
While there are many ways to show this compassion to the congregation, some essential ways are to be:
- A leader who lives out the way of love seen in 1 Corinthians 13
- A leader who develops people to care for others and to use their gifts in ministry and mission
- A leader who is faithful in living principles and values of scripture and of the congregation (the latter signals to people that the pastor considers this to be their home)
- A leader who models the practices of biblical leadership
- A leader who is teachable and ready to learn
- A leader who is willing to apologize when they’ve done wrong that has led to hurt, anger, or distrust
Does your congregation see you as someone who lives out a compassionate life?