Election coverage continues here in the United States.

John McCain has been the decided Republican presidential candidate for what seems like a good long while. Democratic hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are still wooing potential voters with their ideas and plans to make our country a better place. All three are members of the U.S. Senate and each believes they can lead us forward into prosperity and a stronger position as a world leader.

I hold my own thoughts on who may be the best person for the job, but what I find most interesting in this race for the White House is the conversation around leadership itself. Leading other people means knowing what to do and simultaneously being able to convey to others what they must do . Pulling double-duty, so to speak. Some thrive under these circumstances. Many do not, no matter what their best intentions may be because leadership also requires, demands, the ability to look ahead and share the vision for those following behind so they may continue to act with faith and hope. How a leader views their followers indicates how they share the vision.

This is the position Jesus found himself in as recalled in Mark;s gospel. "Jesus saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things (Mark 6: 34)."

Mark's insights into Jesus' vision of those who were becoming his followers succinctly sum up the whole of Jesus' ministry. Jesus saw people where they were at in their lives and cared for them. Recognizing that they needed what he had, he offered it to them in abundance.

How many leaders have you known like this in your life?

Perhaps Jesus just had a unique style of working with people that is not able to be replicated, but I'm not ready to concede that point yet. Traditionally business folks are taught to keep their personal feelings and professional actions separate. "It's nothing personal, it's just business," is a phrase I've heard more than once as the precursor to downsizing, layoffs, and assorted other business practices that disassociate upper management actions from the humanity of their co-workers. What kind of vision do these kinds of leaders have for the continued development of their companies, and how do they really think the remaining workers will respond to them in the future? How much trust is denied and destroyed in the process?

Somehow, understanding that he could connect with a wide range of people simply by caring about them worked for Jesus. Also, Jesus knew his own strengths, knew that he could teach these people many things. He extravagantly shared his wisdom, knowledge, love, compassion, forgiveness, hope and his vision for the kingdom of heaven in as many ways as he could. He continued that work even as he was dying on the cross. That is some serious investment in his followers. Jesus didn't see the multitudes as people he could manipulate into who he wanted them to be to support his own need for power. Jesus stood in his own authority and welcomed people to him who wanted to claim their own authority as God's daughters and sons. He saw people with eyes filled with mercy and taught them with lovingkindness. Jesus saw his followers as already belonging to and living in the kingdom of heaven he helped them envision.

As I mentioned, I hold my own thoughts on who may make the best president for where our country is at in its history. I admit my bias is based on this leadership image that Jesus embodied. Mainly, Jesus was inclusive, valuing who people were and what they brought to the table. I want a president who looks at the citizens of this country in like fashion. And not just U.S. citizens, but people who live around the world, especially those in the poorest countries. My prayer is that we never have the luxury of excluding humanity from U.S. domestic or foreign policy based on our need to disassociate ourselves from other people's suffering to justify the means to our collectively-held end. My hope is that whoever becomes our next president has merciful eyes to see and wisdom to share what is ahead if we care for one another as our first objective.

Author's Bio: 

The Rev. Cory L. Kemp, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay with a double major in Communication and the Arts and Social Change and Development and a minor in Women's Studies, was ordained into the ministry of the Moravian Church in North America after completing her Master of Divinity degree studies through Moravian Theological Seminary. Over twenty-five years of experience in individual and community ministries gives Rev. Kemp an informed perception about faith, its implications and struggles in everyday life. Rev. Kemp focuses her work on helping people understand their faith and how faith can become transformational in their lives. Bring authentic, meaningful faith into your daily life by visiting www.creatingwomenministries.com
and downloading your complimentary copy of the new Special Report, "7 Ways To Bring Authentic, Meaningful Faith Into Your Daily Life."