Leadership Tensions – Head vs. Heart (Part 1)

I never dreamed when I entered into full-time ministry that leadership would get even messier than it already was.  I guess I naively thought that working with more Christ-followers would somehow make things easier.  Go ahead and laugh out loud because you know just how ridiculous that idea is.

Perhaps the greatest area of tension for people of faith is the tension of head versus heart.

In my corporate days it was very expected and quite safe to lead from your head.  Intellect and logical thought always won the argument.  Emotional “feelers” were easily dismissed in any conversation.

In ministry, nearly the opposite is true.  Heart is the acceptable method of leadership.  It’s not uncommon for me to jokingly be referred to as “heartless”.  My gifts and strengths lend toward the intellectual side of the equation and if I’m not careful I factor out the heart.

God gave us both and I suspect he intended us to discern how to lead with a balance of the two.  While shepherding and mercy are spiritual gifts, so are wisdom and knowledge.

I believe our most God-honoring leadership happens when we engage both.

What do you think?

How could your head and your heart work together to lead better?

(In part 2 we’ll discuss some examples)


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  • Melissatoon January 21, 2013  

    I often find myself in the same tug of war.  I have been called insensitive and heartless in the past when making decisions in my role, but ultimately know that God gave me just what I need to do this job.  It is a constant point of evaluation for me though.  thanks for letting me know I am not alone in this!