The Heart of the Matter


Marc Rutter has often said, “The heart of the matter is that leadership is a matter of the heart.” In one translation of the Bible, “heart” is mentioned 862 times. Gary Runn has written an excellent article included in the Heart of the Leader session, found on the Leadership Framework page.

Gary says, “The heart encompasses our mind, will, and emotions. It is our governing center. It is that part of us that chooses every day. That’s why it is so important to lead with a whole heart.”

We all know that leading wholeheartedly is much easier to say than to practice consistently. That is because there are so many distractions and competing loyalties that deplete our hearts and ultimately make us less fruitful leaders. Gary mentions many such heart deflators including:

pressures of ministry

allowing the ministry to become our source of spiritual life

unconfessed sin


felt expectations of the organization

broken relationships

and many others…

Each of our personalities and leadership stories makes us susceptible in different ways.

What tends to deplete your heart?

There is good news, though! There are a variety of pathways to cultivate wholeheartedness. Gary mentions: a posture of surrender and being intentional about living the Spirit-filled life, living in community, worship, practicing humility, and many others.

What practices have you found that nourish your heart?

God not only desires that we lead with a whole heart, but that our hearts are wholly His and that we share His heart for the nations. When our hearts are overflowing with gratefulness for what Christ has done for us, we are compelled to share that love with our neighbors and with the nations!


You can download Gary Runn’s article. The Leadership Framework page also has other resources for your own growth as a leader and for sharing with multiplying disciples of all nations.

Gary Runn

Gary Runn is a redeemed soul trying to stay on track. He writes on leadership at his blog.  He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and two kids. He has served with Cru for over 30 years and is currently trusting God for the cities of the U.S. and the world–especially the Millennial generation.

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