May 15 2019

Listening well, guiding gently


Every week we offer a prayerful reflection from a member of the Unbound community. This week our reflection is from Outreach Coordinator Abby Melgren.

Too often we are convinced that we have the right answer, that our way is best. In these situations, we elevate ourselves to a place of pride, setting ourselves above others.

Scripture teaches that pride only serves ourselves and, ultimately, harms us. Proverbs 11:2 says, “When pride comes, disgrace comes; but with the humble is wisdom.”

Unbound is committed to a style of gentle, balanced leadership. This leadership style flows from the belief that worldly authority and wisdom are not always correlated. In fact, the Unbound community has often seen that those with the least amount of power prove to be the wisest. We believe in humbling ourselves and listening to the true experts — our sponsored families.

Unbound’s late co-founder Bob Hentzen once said, “All staff and community members are considered leaders.” For this reason, Unbound is committed to listening and advising, not informing and demanding. We act as partners with our sponsored friends, acting as an advisor as they set their own goals. And as partners, we listen to the advice the families give us. To advise is to offer guidance. To advise is to listen.

In this way we try to adopt the attitude reflected in Proverbs 27:17: “Iron is sharpened by iron; one person sharpens another.” Our families have a wisdom, gained through their life experiences, that we should do better to appreciate, and it is only through working together that we can create effective change.

Please pray

Lord, give us a spirit of humility. Show us when we need to listen, and when it is best to offer advice and encouragement. Give us wisdom and discretion to see you in every person. Amen.

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