The Quiet Strength of a Peaceful Leader

Why an unlikely trait has such powerful effects.

I knew a pastor—he's gone now—who was dearly loved by his congregation. From the children to the elderly in the church, there was a universal affection and respect for this man.

When I asked one of his church members why their pastor was so highly regarded, she said, "We love him because he's a peaceful leader."

Asked to define peaceful leader, she said, "Read Psalm 23 and you get a picture of a peaceful leader and a secure flock. Green pastures, quiet waters, refreshed souls, correct paths, care in the moment of danger. That's the evidence of a peaceful leader."

Soon after that exchange, I talked with my pastor-friend and related what I'd heard. Had he always been like that, I asked? A peaceful leader?

His answer: "Peaceful? Not at all. When I began my ministry, I thought my work was all about big vision, sizable crowds, impressive programs. I constantly pressed the people for more of this, more of that. For a while the people ...

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