(4) REALISTIC PASTORING
I need to finish my list within the next few days, and then review the 7 to see what's missing.
First is love, second prayer, third humble leadership, and then we come a special characteristic of Christian leadership - realistic pastoring.
Christian leaders are always thrust into pastoral responsibility (John 21:15-17; Acts 20:28). While everyone else maintains strict limits to the amount of caring they will give, and restricts access to only a few, Christian leaders are called to be under-shepherds for the Good Shepherd. To be accessible, compassionate and kind. To live constantly between the tensions of caring for family, while ministering to the church family and wider community. It's a life-long battle to care for sheep. It is possible to overdo pastoral care and give away too much of yourself, but far more often we underdo our care. Keeping a realistic balance, for the Good Shepherd's sake, is one of the Big 7.
Such care has gloriously marked out some of the Christian leaders, who have most influenced me.