Listening well, guiding gently

"Listening well, guiding gently" by Unbound (

Copyright 2019 All rights reserved.

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.

Copyright 2019 Outreach Coordinator Abby Melgren for Unbound


About Author

Unbound is an international nonprofit founded by lay Catholics grounded in the Gospel call to put the needs of the marginalized and vulnerable first. We build relationships of mutual respect and support that bridge cultural, religious and economic divides. We bring people together to challenge poverty in 18 countries. We invite you to join us. Find us on Facebook or Twitter.

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