One of the major themes of both the Old and New Testaments is that of a compassionate God. He refuses to bypass humankind. He sends prophets, messengers, and even His Son into the world. This compassion is clearly demonstrated in the election of Israel. Israel had no claim on God, but God expressed compassion toward Israel. This is profoundly confirmed in Ezekiel 16:
On the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to make you clean, nor were you rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloths. No one looked on you with pity or had compassion enough to do any of these things for you. Rather, you were thrown out into the open field, for on the day you were born you were despised. Then I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and as you lay there in your blood I said to you, “Live!” (Ezekiel 16:4-6, NIV).
Missiologist David Bosch suggests this is one of the most powerful statements of compassion and mission in the entire Bible. It indicates it is God who has compassion on the lost and marginalized. God took compassion on a group of slaves in Egypt and saved them. “Father of orphans and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. God gives the desolate a home to live in . . .” (Psalms 68:5-6, NRSV).
There were times in the life of Israel they thought their election was for favoritism or something they deserved. Yet this Scripture reference does not indicate that the election was anything more than God’s compassion. In the same way today, those who lead in a missionary and evangelism enterprise must also have a sense of compassion upon those whom they are seeking to reach with the gospel. It is those who have experienced God’s compassion who are moved with compassion toward others. When Jesus looks at the crowds, “harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36, NRSV), He is moved with compassion. Church leaders today and tomorrow can do no less than have compassion upon those who are without Christ.
- A Leader Must Have a Profound Sense of God’s Call
- A Leader Must Grow in Their Relationship with God
- A Leader Must Be Compassionate
- A Leader Must Be Passionate
- A Leader Must Be Visionary
- A Leader Must Become Entrepreneurial
- A Leader Must Be Contextual
- A Leader Must Be a Planner
- A Leader Must Be a Lifelong Learner
- A Leader Must Be a Delegator and Empowerer of Others