The Cry: 3 Steps Towards Impactful Leadership


What do you do when you hear a baby cry? I guess it depends on where you are.  If you’re in a grocery store you might give a “aww, how cute.”  But if you’re in an airplane, you might be ready to crawl out of your skin.  Your attitude at the time of the cry can make it or break it.

In Exodus 2, we read about the birth of one of the greatest leaders–Moses.  Moses was born at a time when all Hebrew baby boys were to be thrown into the Nile River to die.  Moses’ mother “saw that he was a fine child” and hid him for three months.  After those three months, she sent him on his way in a well prepared papyrus basket in the Nile River.

The Only Cry

Exodus 2:5 tells that “Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the river bank.  She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her slave girl to get it.  She opened it and saw the baby.  He was crying, and she felt sorry for him.”

At that moment, the slave girl felt sorry for the baby.  This cry moved the girl.  It was a powerful cry.  In fact, this is the only time in the Bible that mentions that an infant was crying.  An accident?  I don’t think so!

Because of Moses’ cry, there was an emotion that drove that girl to feel “sorry for him.”  The Hebrew word for “sorry” is chamal.  It means: to spare, pity, have compassion on.  That cry led that girl into compassion.  And because of that compassion, Moses’ life was not only spared, but he became the leader for all the Israelites coming out of captivity.  That one act of compassion led to an incredible impact in the generations to come!

Jesus, Greater Than Moses

In Matthew 9:36 it says that “When he [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  Then he said to his disciples, The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Jesus’ compassion for the people’s cry of their life; their hopelessness, helplessness and wandering, led Jesus to compassion.

What’s Your Response?

Are you living life wondering if you’ll ever make an impact?  Are you desiring to be obedient to Jesus?  Following and doing what He did?  Follow these three steps and you will step into leadership.  You will have an incredible impact.

1. Listen for a cry.  When you hear or see the cry (the heart ache) of another person, you have an open door.  You can move into a position to impact that person’s life.  Go up to that person and open up their basket (their heart).

2. Be the one to soothe the cry.  When you give attention to the cry, don’t drop the ball.  It wasn’t an accident that you happened upon that person’s cry.  Open up your heart and love.  Give them your ear, your heart, and your time.  Be sure not to just give the natural “good Christian” response of “I’ll be sure to pray for you” and walk away.  Soothe their cry until it stops.

3. Lay down your life to raise that cry.  It takes time to tend to a baby.  It takes time to raise a baby.  It will also take time to disciple someone from infancy in Christ, into maturity in Christ.  If you are willing to lay down your life and lose it, some incredible leader once promised that you would find your life (Matthew 10:39b).  There’s no better leader to follow than Jesus.

Not everyone can tend to a cry.  But the ones that are desiring to impact a generation for the glory of God will.  So next time you hear the cry of someone’s heart, stop and soothe that cry.  Step into your leadership position.  Then take them close to your heart and raise them up in Christ.  Lead them.  You never know who that cry will become.  And you never know who you will be become!

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  1. Stephanie Buckley says:

    That is so true…. Looking for that opportunity to fill someone’s life up with the good news…. God is great, good, glorious, and gracious…. Speaking truth into their lives… So exciting to see God move…

  2. Good morning Jamye! From one who is constantly hearing and responding to cries (and sometimes wondering if I make an impact at all) thank you for the affirmation…and for your blog. You really speak to my heart!

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