Most leaders have a decent handle on loving the “one anothers” in their lives—Christian family members, friends, and co-laborers in ministry. The “one anothers” in Scripture are typically applied to fellow believers. But they can also be applied to people in general—in keeping with Jesus’ admonition to love our neighbor as ourselves.

A coworker and I were discussing the level of care that’s commonly given within the body of Christ. When a fellow believer has a long-term illness, they receive anything from prayer to cards to chicken soup. When a believer is moving, word spreads and a dozen people show up on the designated Saturday. When a Christian mom has a baby, home-made meals appear at her front door for weeks.

All of this is right and good, but when you think about it – even in the midst of our fiery trials, we’re well-set as believers. We have a relationship with our heavenly Father, we know our purpose in life, we have brothers and sisters in Christ to journey with, and we know where we’ll spend eternity.

Contrast that to unbelievers who are spiritual orphans—wandering aimlessly or furiously climbing a career ladder. Languishing or partying with other orphans. Having no concern or no comfort regarding life after death.

As you read the “one anothers” in Scripture, see if you can extend them to an unbeliever. Here are a few examples:

5 Ways to Treat an Unbeliever as a “One Another”

God uses leaders as game changers. If your social circle resembles a holy huddle, stick your head up, notice the people who aren’t in the game, get to know them, and invite them in. God isn’t willing that any perish, but that all come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9). Let’s join Him in His loving pursuit of others.

“If your social circle resembles a holy huddle, stick your head up, notice the people who aren’t in the game, get to know them, and invite them in.”  

- Lisa Hosler

What are some ways you’ve reached out to nonbelievers in Christian love? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.

Most leaders are good at making pragmatic decisions. They do the research, list the options, and weigh the pros and cons. But does that approach yield the best decisions?

We were at a significant juncture at our ministry—so significant that we held a special board meeting to address it. There were three possible routes to take. We listed them on paper and discussed the merits of each.

Then we entered into a long season of prayer. Round and round we went—basically discussing it with the Lord together. Much of what we’d said earlier was repeated in prayer. But there was a humility and deference that characterized our prayer. A dependence, a neediness, a “God, help us.”

Toward the end of the prayer time, one of our board directors said, “As we’ve been praying, I’ve been sensing an interim step for us to consider.” He laid it out, and it resonated with everyone. As we agreed on the interim step, one of the three options we’d been considering rose to the top. 

God’s pathway emerged.

And we’re peacefully traveling down it.

3 Reasons We Weigh Pros and Cons

3 Reasons to Make Decisions with God

As leaders, when we’re faced with multiple options in decision-making, we often default to logic and human reasoning. There’s nothing wrong with carefully considering all avenues—unless that’s all we do. When we weigh pros and cons, let’s invite the best “Pro”—God Himself—to weigh in.

“As leaders, when we weigh pros and cons, let’s invite the best ‘Pro’—God Himself—to weigh in.”

- Lisa Hosler

In the comment Section below, relay an instance where you faced several decisions, and God specifically led you as you sought Him.

In a court of law, a person swears to tell a truthful version of every single thing they witnessed. Does that same standard apply to us as we share the truth about Jesus with others? Let’s take a look.

I grew up with a comprehensive understanding of the gospel. It was a fleshed-out version of 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, including who God is, who Jesus is—His death, burial, and resurrection, and how we can become a child of God by recognizing our sin and placing our trust in Jesus for forgiveness and eternal life.

Sharing the gospel was done through activities like door-to-door witnessing, handing out tracts, and approaching unbelievers so you could explain the gospel in its entirety.

None of it felt authentic, and consequently none if it happened very often. Not in my life, and not in the lives of the vast majority of believers I grew up with.

I remember awkward experiences of sharing the gospel as part of a community outreach program in Bible college. I remember mustering up the courage to tell a good friend about my faith in Jesus, and then promising never to bring it up again unless she wanted to hear more (as if it was offensive! L). And I remember a beautiful experience of sharing the gospel with a military man on a 9-hour flight from Europe to the United States. He was primed and ready to trust in Jesus, and did so 30,000 feet above the ocean.

But those experiences were few and far between.

Until the last year or so.

Since then, I’ve realized that planting seeds of God’s truth—even when I don’t have the opportunity to share the whole gospel—is biblical and powerful. I’ve shared nuggets of Jesus’ truth and love with over a dozen people. It’s becoming a natural way I interact with others, and I’ve shed some of my previous misconceptions.  

My Misconceptions about Sharing Jesus

The Truth about Sharing Jesus

Jesus told us to make disciples. Think about it – that’s rarely done by just one individual. Paul planted seeds, Apollos watered them, and God made them grow. God uses the body of Christ to share the gospel and disciple people. As leaders, let’s lead the way in loving people and planting gospel seeds everywhere we go.

“As leaders, let’s lead the way in loving people and planting gospel seeds everywhere we go.”

- Lisa Hosler

In the Comment Section below, describe a recent “seed planting” experience you’ve had, and/or a misconception you’ve had about sharing Jesus with others.

A few years ago, God used the death of a friend—an everyday evangelist—to spur me to talk with strangers about Jesus. Even though I’ve grown in initiating conversations with others since then, I’ve periodically asked God if it’s just a phase. His recent answer bellowed to me from Scripture.

I was reading Luke 5, where Jesus climbs into the boat with Peter, James, and John. They had fished all night and came up empty-netted, and when Jesus told them to try again they balked. But they obeyed, and soon their nets broke with fish and their boat nearly sank. They were shocked by the miracle and convicted of their own sin, realizing they were in the presence of God. Jesus said, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”

“From now on.”

Not, “For the next season.” Or, “For the next few years while I’m here to stir your passion.” Or, “For the next phase of your life.”

No, “This is your life FROM NOW ON—speaking words of life about Me to others.”

My Personal Highlight from a National Conference and the March for Life

I recently attended a national conference and the March for Life in Washington DC. The highlight could’ve been hearing Joni Eareckson Tada’s keynote, or worshiping with hundreds of believers, or seeing two bald eagles soar over tens of thousands of pro-lifers gathered at The Mall while House Speaker Paul Ryan gave rousing remarks.

But the highlight for me was a four-minute conversation with “Talib,” the young man who helped me with my luggage.

I don’t remember my opening question to him, but before long we were talking about his homeland—Ethiopia.

He described it as a beautiful country, and one that he hoped to return to soon.

His parents had come to the United States years before, and he came more recently to further his education. His day job was helping people like me, and his night job was taking I.T. courses. He hoped to use what he was learning in the states to start a business in Ethiopia.

I sensed his appreciation for America, his aspirations for his future, and most of all his deep love for Ethiopia. But there was also an air of uncertainty in him, not knowing how it would all work out.

Jeremiah 29:11-14 came to mind, and I shared it with him. I said, “God loves you so much, Talib, and He has good plans for your life. I’ll be praying for you.”

Talib’s dark eyes twinkled. He nodded and said, “Thank you, ma’am.”

Just a simple exchange. Talib shared his dreams, and I shared a few hope-filled words from Scripture. Nothing earthshattering.

What was shattered was the wall of silence that can exist between us and people we don’t know. It reminds me of Proverbs 25:11, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” Commentators have various explanations of its meaning. But in the context of having life-giving conversations with strangers, my paraphrase goes like this, “A word of truth, lovingly spoken, is like a gentle hammer that shatters the wall of silence between people.”

“A word of truth, lovingly spoken, is like a gentle hammer that shatters the wall of silence between people.”

- Lisa Hosler

Leaders lead. Leaders initiate. Leaders bring change. From now on, let’s lead by speaking words of life about Jesus to others, everywhere we go.

“From now on, let’s lead by speaking words of life about Jesus to others, everywhere we go.”

- Lisa Hosler

What was the most recent life-giving exchange you had with someone? Feel free to share it in the Comment Section below.

Marathoners often describe hitting the wall as they run. It’s a stretch of time when everything in their body hurts and everything in their mind screams, “Stop!” They press through, and the pain lifts. But is “no pain, no gain” a good mantra for Christian leaders?

It was an intense season at our ministry—a huge project with a drop-dead date. We sharpened our pencils, picked up the pace, and cranked out the work. The pressure to meet our goal was excruciating and made it impossible to pause with God. Our normal rhythms of connecting with Him got squeezed out. But we pressed on, and nearly dropped dead in the process! God essentially said, “This pain isn’t from Me, it’s from neglecting Me.”

“This pain isn’t from Me; it’s from neglecting Me.”

- Lisa Hosler

5 Questions to Ask During a Marathon Season

“No project’s accomplishment is worth the diminishment of your abiding relationship with God.”

- Lisa Hosler

The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint (Isa. 40:28-31).

What warning signs does God give you when you’re running full speed ahead, apart from Him? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.

As Christian leaders, we believe our hearts are postured toward the Lord. We’re eager to engage with our teams in worship and in the Word. Or are we?

We made a recent board decision to rotate leadership for our engagement with God at board meetings. We want each board member to share in leading this core aspect of our ministry’s culture.  

As the second board member took his turn, I readily entered into the scriptures he laid out for us.


The scriptures turned into an exercise, and I could sense it would go longer than our typical 10-15 minutes.

Hmmm… I thought. If other board members take their que from him, these times with the Lord could go really long. And besides, we have a big agenda tonight!

The worship extended to an hour and a half of very significant time with the Lord—full of faith and direction for the future. Afterwards, one board member said, “I could go home right now. God has already done so much.”

She was right. And God led us through that hefty agenda with ease and unity.

I was surprised by my initial reticence. I’ve come to deeply value extended times with the Lord. Why did I think the worship was going long?

How to Keep Your Heart Open to Worship

My guess is that until heaven, we leaders will periodically bump into our human tendency to value work over worship. Thankfully, God’s Spirit is ever present to point our gaze heavenward. When we give God free rein in our worship, He will freely reign in our ministry.

“When we give God free reign in our worship, He will freely reign in our ministry.”

- Lisa Hosler

“The true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth,

for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.”

John 4:23b

As a leader, how is God nurturing a worshipful heart in you? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.

As I’ve been saying in recent blogs, every leader, every believer, has a 24/7 calling to share Jesus with others. When we don’t talk with others about Him—which is more frequent than we’d like to admit—we often blame it on not feeling led. Let’s press into this concept of “feeling led.”   

Of course, being led by the Spirit is biblical. Romans 8:14 says, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.” We rightly strive to follow the Spirit’s leading and live in concert with our Father’s will. But I wonder if we wrongly categorize our gospel-sharing reluctance as “not feeling led.”

Two Times I Blamed My Reluctance On “Not Feeling Led”

I heard a speaker say, in a tongue-in-cheek, yet convicting way: “If you need to feel led before you talk to someone about Jesus, just put a lead sinker from a fishing line in your pocket. That way, when you’re deciding whether or not to approach them, you can reach into your pocket and feel lead! And then go ahead and talk with the person!”

God Already Expressed His Will

GO into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Mk. 16:15).

DECLARE His glory among the nations, His wonders among all people (Ps. 96:3).

MAKE DISCIPLES of all the nations (Mt. 28:19).

Yes, we want to be led by the Spirit. And yes, we want to obey the Scriptural mandates to share the gospel. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to stand before the Father and say, “I know You said, ‘Go, declare, and make disciples,’ but 99% of the time I just didn’t feel led. So I didn’t.”

“Father, stir our hearts, give us Your passion for the gospel and Your compassion for people. We pray with Paul that you would give us words as we open our mouths to boldly proclaim the mystery of the gospel as we should. Based on what You’ve already said, Father, we do feel led to share Your gospel with others.”

“Based on what God’s already said, let’s feel led to share the gospel!”

- Lisa Hosler

Has there been a recent time that you didn’t “feel led” to reach out, but could have? Or you did anyway? Feel free to share your experience in the Comment Section below.

Most Christian leaders give the lion’s share of their time and energy to their primary ministry calling. This is understandable given the weightiness of leadership responsibilities. But is there an even more comprehensive call to fulfill?

Over the past several years, I’ve been convicted of God’s overarching calling on my life to make disciples. I could argue that I’m facilitating that through my leadership at our “gospel-sharing” ministry—and to an extent that’s true. But on a very personal level, we’re each called to make disciples.

Here’s what I’ve become aware of within myself as I’ve pondered these things with the Lord.

My Confessions

5 Ways to Engage in Your 24/7 Calling

“You are the light of the world.

Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works

and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Matt. 5:14a & 16, ESV

Leaders’ lives are full. Their ministry responsibilities spread beyond a typical workweek. But a leader who lives in the fullness of God’s love readily shines that love to others inside and outside of their ministry.

“A leader who lives in the fullness of God’s love readily shines that love to others inside and outside of their ministry.”

- Lisa Hosler

What are the pitfalls you encounter in sharing Jesus’ love with people outside your ministry, and how is God helping you overcome them? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.

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