As leaders, besides wrongly categorizing our days into ministry and non-ministry segments, we also tend to categorize people. There are the people we relate to on deep level, those we’re just friendly to, and those we typically wouldn’t associate with. Problem is, Jesus didn’t function this way.

Yes, there’s wisdom in not putting ourselves in risky situations—especially when we’re by ourselves. But there are a lot of people we cross paths with who aren’t threatening.

Like the lady I reached out to in the thrift store a month ago.

She readily responded when I initiated a conversation and was eager for prayer by the end. She expressed interested in attending church with me, and we texted back and forth to finalize our plans.

That first Sunday, she wasn’t able to come. I knew our interaction was real, and that God had ministered to a deep place within her spirit. So I invited her again and prayed she would come.

She did!

When my husband Ron and I went through the church doors, she was sitting on a bench right inside. She jumped up, gave me a hug, and said to Ron, “Did she tell you our story?”

“Did she tell you our story?”

Think about this with me. If she felt as though I was reaching out to her because I felt sorry for her, or because of her obvious need, or because I viewed her as a project… WE wouldn’t have a story. In fact, she probably would’ve been veiled in shame, and may not have even come to church.

But because of God’s impartial love—that He somehow poured into her heart as I spoke with her—WE had a story! WE shared a God-moment that was mutual. She was struck by the fact that God had heard her cry for help, and sent me. And I was equally awed to witness God at work in her life.

Yes, WE indeed had a story. And more pages have been written as we sat beside each other for the service, spoke with the pastor and a few key women afterwards, and had breakfast together the next day.

4 Ways to Foster a You & Me Mentality

1. Pray. Ask God to give you Jesus’ love for other people, and eyes to see them like He does. Keep on knocking, keep on asking, and the door of God’s heart of compassion for others will be opened unto you.

2. Get convicted. There’s no better place than the Word to drive conviction into your bones. The kind of conviction that keeps you from walking right past people all around you. God’s not willing that any perish; I don’t want to be either.   

3. Reach out in honor. Speak to others, especially those you’d usually pass by, in the same way you speak with your close friends—with candor, humor, love. Be genuine. Be yourself. Exhibit a sincere interest in their lives.

4. Take the next step. Listen for what that may be as you’re talking. It may simply be to let them know you’ll be praying for them, and following through. Or perhaps they have a practical need that you’re able to fill next time you see them. Or maybe the relationship progresses to the point of meeting for coffee.  

Jesus sat with the tax collectors and sinners. He embraced sick people. He didn’t lord it over others, He laid down His life for others so they could receive Him as Lord. As leaders, let’s lay down our lives, our agendas, and our stereotypes, and love people like Jesus does.

“As leaders, let’s lay down our lives, our agendas, and our stereotypes, and love people like Jesus does.”

- Lisa Hosler

How is God stirring a passion in you for interacting with others you wouldn’t normally reach out to? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comments Section below.

Note the plural on the word delays. If you’re like most leaders, there’s not just one project or hire or goal that’s on hold—there’s a plethora. Aaaaaaaah! How do we embrace delay and displace angst?

I’ve been working on a big project for several years. Seasons of great progress have been followed by seasons of no progress—or so it seems.  

It reminds me of the freeze frame photo above, where the woman is being catapulted through the air into a body of water. Look at her at any point along the way, and she appears motionless—as though she’s absolutely stuck in mid-air.

That’s how delay feels in real life—like being stuck, hindered, helpless.

But God.

Let’s look at it from His perspective.

6 Biblical Perspectives On Delays

1. “In the fullness of time.” All throughout Scripture, this concept is repeated. It refers to God choosing the exact right time for a major event to take place—like Christ’s birth, or His return. God is right about the timing of Jesus entering the world, and He’s right about the timing of our project completions.

2. God works for the good. Romans 8:28 says God is constantly working on our behalf—orchestrating people, situations, relationships, and projects—for our good and the fulfillment of His purposes. Our part involves trust and surrender.

3. Spiritual Warfare. Daniel saw a vision of an angel who attributed a three-week delay to a spiritual battle in the heavenly realms (Dan. 10:10-14). He assured Daniel that his prayers were heard and God was responding. The take-home message for us is to faithfully cry out to God straight through delays.   

4. Our focus. Hebrews 12 opens with these words: “Run with endurance… looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Jesus persevered and prevailed. When we fix our eyes on Him, we’re empowered to do the same.

5. Our character. James 1 reminds us that any kind of trials help us progress toward “perfection and completion.” Ha! So we’re concerned about project completion, and God’s concerned about character completion. Take another look at the woman in the photo. She’s in a much better position to enter the water at the far right than she was at the launch.

6. Faithful in little, faithful in much. As leaders, we’re geared for the “much”—the big splash at the end of a long, wild ride. But Jesus exhorts us to keep our hand to the plow that’s in front of us. As we’re faithful in the little, He’ll bring about the much.

I’m convinced that one of the enemy’s chief tactics is to shift our focus from what’s right with Jesus to what’s wrong with everything else. He knows it’ll bring discouragement, distraction, and demotivation for the tasks at hand. So as leaders, instead of focusing on the seeming delay, let’s focus on the Lord of time and seize each day.

“As leaders, instead of focusing on the seeming delay, focus on the Lord of time and seize each day.”

- Lisa Hosler

What’s a good perspective God’s given you in the midst of delays? Feel free to share it in the Comment Section below.

Ha! As leaders, when are we NOT under the gun? Every week is busy. Every project is urgent. But we can learn to step away from the barrel and steal away with our Father.

A few days ago the gun was pointed at my head. I needed to write a brief speech for a fundraising event, and my time was limited. I whispered a prayer and began scanning our Stories file for inspiration. Nothing. Not that the client stories weren’t good; I just wasn’t having cohesive thoughts about the speech.

So I decided to take a walk. Counterintuitive, because the last thing I had time for was a stroll through town. But I’ve learned that a change of pace, a change of scenery, and—most importantly—engaging with my Father, are the best ways to hear from Him.

I gazed up a lot during that walk. I noticed beautiful architecture gracing old buildings. Menacing gargoyles darting from roof corners. Carefree birds winging across clear skies.

My mind became clear as well. As I walked and talked with God, He seemed to say, “Review the stories again and look for a theme.”

Back at my computer, a verse came to mind and a fresh theme emerged. Yep. That’ll work. Thank You, Father!

What NOT to Do When You’re Under the Gun

1. Panic. The Father of Lies is notorious for shooting bullets of fear, doubt, and pressure at you. Recognize his lies and refute them with Truth. Your Father is with You; He’s your #1 Helper.

2. Cram. College all-nighters come to mind—forging ahead when your body is tired and your brain is dead. Resist the urge to soldier on, and ask God for His version of a reprieve. 

3. Settle. This happens when you decide your work is good enough and it really isn’t. Never settle for a solely human outcome. God’s input and outcome for your project will be far superior.

What TO DO When You’re Under the Gun

1. Steal away. Such a simple concept—to get away with God; such a hard choice when the pressure’s on. But force yourself, at least initially. It’ll become easier with time, and the rewards are unending.

2. Commune. Relax with God. Talk with Him. Listen to Him. Notice what He’s drawing your attention to. Let togetherness be your greatest expectation.

3. Be inspired. Being with God—on its own—is invigorating. It’s good for your spirit and your soul. Plus, I’ve found when I’m with God, His wisdom and revelation are with me.

Leaders cut their teeth on hard work, determination, and perseverance. These practices aren’t bad, unless they characterize a leader’s modus operandi. Jesus’ m.o. was stealing away with His Father. He worked hard and completed His earthly mission, but He did it in concert with His Father. He was rooted in His Father’s love, inspired by His Father’s vision, and energized by His Father’s Spirit.

“Father, help me to lead and follow like Jesus.”

“When you’re under the gun as a leader, step away from the barrel and steal away with your Father.”

- Lisa Hosler

How have you learned to find God in the midst of a crowded schedule? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.

If you want to talk to people about Jesus, you’ll have to get out of your comfort boat. And it gets harder from there. You’ll have to do some water-walking.

At the ministry where I serve, God is impassioning us to see everyone with His eyes of compassion—not just the people we’re officially serving. It’s not convenient, it ain’t easy, but it’s worth it. Because they’re worth it, and He’s worth it.

The other Saturday I’m picking my way through a thrift store when I see her. I mean I really see her—drawn face, hunched shoulders, sad eyes.

I begin praying for her as I roll my little cart in and out of the narrow aisles.

There she is again, not looking up, a wisp of a person.

I roll on, pray on. “Father, I can offer to pray for her. Is there something specific?”

“She’s concerned about her daughter,” seems to be the response.

Oh man. Now I have something potentially helpful to pray with her about. And also potentially not even accurate! “Jesus! Lead me. Give me courage.”

I find my cart rolling in her direction. Now I’m right behind her. Now I’m right beside her! Aaaah! What if she bites my head off and says, “Mind yer own business!”

All of that as I say to her, “Hi, I noticed you earlier and felt led to pray for you. I’m… uh… sensing you may be concerned about your daughter…”

Shock spreads across her face as she says, “Are you a psychic?”

“No, I’m a Jesus-follower, and as I was talking to Him about you, I sensed your concern for your daughter.”

“It’s my step-daughter, but how did you know?!”

“Well, Jesus knows everything. He sees you, He loves you, He wants to help.”

Twenty minutes later, I knew the whole story about her step-daughter, the estrangement, the desire for reconciliation, how she’d visited a church for the first time in decades, and how she’d been crying out to God for help. I got to pray with her. And I got to see her eyes form deep green pools of wonder at the unexpected love God poured into her heart.

6 Keys to Walking On Water Toward Others

1. See. Have a heart to see the people around you like Jesus did—like sheep without a Shepherd, like precious human beings who have a life, who have cares, who have desires.

2. Pray. As you’re drawn toward an individual, begin praying for them. Ask God to pour out His compassion on them, to prepare their heart, to lead you in what to say.

3. Sense. Tune into anything specific God may impress on you for the individual. It may be a word of encouragement, a verse, or a need they have.

4. Walk toward them. This is where it gets really dicey. This is where you chicken out or step out. This is where you need boldness from the Lord. Ask Him; He’ll give it to you.

5. Speak. Greet them. Ask them how they’re doing. Talk to them with love and interest. Talk to them like you talk to your friends. Say whatever uplifting thing God’s given you. Offer to pray for them.

6. Continue. Go with it. Keep talking with the person as long as God leads and as long as they want to engage with you. Be yourself, be natural, be Spirit-led. God knows how many seeds He’s given you to plant.

As Christ-followers, we’re all called to lead—to take that first step, to walk on water, to initiate conversations with others about Jesus. Paul says in Ephesians 6:20 and again in Colossians 4:4, “Pray that I may speak boldly and clearly, as I ought to speak” (ESV, paraphrased).

As I ought to speak. In the Greek, the word ought means “what is right, proper, and absolutely necessary.” As Christ-followers and leaders, sharing Jesus isn’t an optional possibility. It’s an absolute necessity.

“As Christ-followers and leaders, sharing Jesus isn’t an optional possibility. It’s an absolute necessity.”

- Lisa Hosler

In the Comment Section below, share an instance when you felt like you were walking on water as you initiated a conversation about Jesus. How did God help you?

Good leaders are organized and have healthy boundaries. But have we segmented portions of our lives that God never meant to be separated? Let’s take a look.

4 Areas I Used to Segment

1. Worship. Truth be told, I viewed worship as something that was relegated to a Sunday morning. In 1998, when God led me to bring worship into the work setting, I was reluctant. And wrong. Creative worship has become a treasured, daily part of our corporate alignment with God.

2. Discerning prayer. By discerning prayer, I mean prayer for the purpose of gleaning God’s direction for the ministry. I used to believe this was best done as I holed up with God on my own. Again, so wrong. I’ve learned that discerning prayer is most productive when done in conjunction with ministry colleagues.

3. Relational community. This is the phrase we use at our ministry to describe authentic, vulnerable relationships as coworkers who want to grow together in the Lord. I used to think I should develop intimate relationships outside of work, and keep work relationships professional. I’ve learned that God’s design for Christian ministries is relationships that are both professional and deeply personal.

4. Mission participation. I used to think my contribution to our mission—championing the gospel and the sacredness of life—was providing vision and leadership so our staff and volunteers could interact with clients effectively. When I left the office each evening, my ministry was accomplished for the day. Ha! How shortsighted! Jesus loves people 24/7 and He calls us to too. I now know my ministry includes seeing, valuing, and interacting with people—planting seeds of the gospel—24/7.

Quick Compartmentalization Quiz

Consider the segmentation within your own life and leadership. Start with the four areas I’ve listed above.

1. Does worship characterize your corporate interaction with God, within your ministry?

2. Are you inviting others into the discernment process?

3. Are you appropriately vulnerable with your colleagues? Are you fostering deeper relational connections among your staff?

4. Are you personally living out the core mission of your ministry?

5. Is God nudging you about others areas you’ve segmented?

Call it sanity, call it safety, or call it selfishness—when leaders compartmentalize their lives they short-circuit God’s plan. But when we allow God to draw new boundaries, we experience a free-flowing, fullness of His beauty throughout our ministries and lives. Eden comes to mind.

“Call it sanity, call it safety, or call it selfishness—when leaders compartmentalize their lives they short-circuit God’s plan.”

- Lisa Hosler

“And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail” (Isa.58:11).

Has God taken something you used to compartmentalize, and brought it into the 24/7 flow of your life and leadership? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.

Christian leaders are famous for saying, “We give God all the glory.” And most of them mean it. But is there a deeper place—a place beneath our words—from which God wants to receive honor? And how does that play out in the workplace?

Conviction is a funny thing.

Until it happens, you think you’re fine. But once it does, you realize you’re not.

I thought I was doing a fine job of honoring God through my leadership. I gave Him glory every time I spoke or wrote on behalf of the ministry.

But when God called our ministry to robust worship, I realized how peaked my phrases actually were. God wanted more. He deserved more.

In the past twenty years, we’ve learned there’s no end to the practical, meaningful ways we can honor God. Here are just a few.

7 Ways to Honor God at Your Ministry

1. Love Him wholeheartedly. This is the deeper place I mentioned earlier, the deeper well from which honor springs—a heart that’s in love with God. Keep your heart washed in the Word and watered by the Spirit, on your own and together with your ministry team.

2. Worship Him creatively. During meetings, spend time singing along with YouTube worship songs, or illustrate an attribute of God on paper and share them with each other. Take a walk with a few colleagues to soak in the beauty of God’s creation.

3. Read His Word out loud. There’s nothing more anchoring than reading God’s Word. Choose a relevant portion of Scripture, print it in several versions, and read it out loud with your team. You’ll gain strength, perspective, and wisdom.

4. Talk to Him often. Make prayer normative throughout the day. Try not to think of it as something that happens only at the beginning of the day or as an opener to meetings. Think of it as dialoguing with your Father—your Ministry Leader—all day long.

5. Share what He’s doing. Talk with your co-workers about what God’s doing through your ministry, how He’s changing lives, how He’s changing your lives. Take the time to brag on God as the true source of every good thing taking place in and around you.

6. Praise Him sincerely. Speak words of praise to God in conversation with each other, through email, really whenever you’re communicating with others. And check your heart. It’s easy to glibly say, “Praise the Lord.” Make sure your heart is in concert with your words.   

7. Reflect Him with integrity. As you’re aligned with God, your words, attitudes, decisions, and actions—on and off the job—will be like Christ’s and will bring Him glory.

Sincere, heartfelt honor matters to God. Listen to His perspective in these verses:

“This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me” (Mt. 15:8).

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart… soul… strength… and mind” (Lk. 10:27).

“Whatever you do, do all for the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31b).

As leaders, let’s cultivate hearts that are in love with God, express honor to Him freely, and bring Him glory through the way we live. After all, honoring God is far more than lip service; it’s the language of your life.

“Honoring God is far more than lip service; it’s the language of your life.”

- Lisa Hosler

What are some ways you and your team honor God through the workday? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.

Leaders want to be known for something great. To leave a lasting mark on their organization. To exercise their giftings in transformative ways. Let’s look at God’s pathway to distinction.

Thirteen years into my personal quest for leadership distinction, I’d demonstrated vision, good communication skills, and the ability to rally people for effective ministry.

But when a spiritual advisor spoke about the importance of God being on the “throne” of every ministry, I winced. I was familiar with God being on the throne of my personal life, but I hadn’t translated that into the culture of my ministry.

When the advisor prayed for me and noted the professionalism and excellence that my ministry was known for, I felt hollow inside. Did I want to go to my grave having run a ministry with professionalism and excellence?! There are worse things to be known for, but I was to discover there are better things too. Or I should say, a better Person.

The advisor went on to pray about corporate intimacy with God, resting in Christ while working, and cultivating the presence of the Lord.

Hmmm… these were unfamiliar phrases to me.

But twenty years later, I’m experiencing the indescribable treasure of God’s presence at our ministry as we actively honor Him, foster a close relationship with Him and each other, and discern His wisdom together.

Let’s learn from Moses’ leadership.

3 Ways to Become a Distinctive Leader

1. Know God intimately. Moses pitched the Tent of Meeting far off from the camp and sought the Lord there frequently. “Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend” (Ex. 33:11). Make it your highest priority as a leader to know and be known by the Lord, to interact with Him deeply, and to glean from His Word—both privately and publicly as a natural part of your leadership.  

2. Cultivate God’s presence. Moses was wise enough to know that he and the nation of Israel had no chance of surviving—much less thriving—in the Promised Land apart from God’s presence. He said to the Lord, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here” (Ex. 33:15). Set aside time to honor the Lord. Worship Him through music—at your desk and with others. Read Scripture together and reflect on God’s amazing qualities. Share with each other how He’s working in your lives and ministry. Make much of God, and His presence will permeate your ministry.

3. Learn the rhythms of God’s rest. When Moses pleaded with God to go with him, God responded, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest” (Ex. 33:14). God’s presence and His rest go hand-in-hand. When you’re not feeling at rest, at peace—chances are you’re not actively connecting with God. As you do, you’ll keep pace with God—running when He moves quickly, pausing when He says “wait,” and all the while having the assurance that He’s with you.

This section of Scripture culminates with Moses saying to God, “For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct…?” (Ex. 33:16).

Did you catch that last word? The key to distinction as a leader is the literal presence of God. If you want to be a distinctive leader, lead your team to engage with God corporately so your ministry is known for and characterized by His presence. This is the best contribution you’ll ever make to your organization.

“If you want to be a distinctive leader, lead your team to engage with God corporately so your ministry is known for and characterized by His presence.”

- Lisa Hosler

In what ways do you cultivate God’s presence through your leadership? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.

Take yesterday at work, for example. Can you remember praying on your own or with others? If you’re like most leaders, the answer is no. There were back to back meetings in your office, piles of projects on your desk, and unexpected visitors at your door.

The title of this blog may well have been: 3 REASONS TO TALK TO THE WISEST PERSON IN THE ROOM. Hmmm… that puts a different twist on workplace prayer. Instead of a passive activity that takes us away from urgent tasks, prayer becomes a proactive engagement that leads us into productive intimacy with our Father.

“Prayer isn’t a passive activity that takes us away from urgent tasks, it’s a proactive engagement that leads us into productive intimacy with our Father.

- Lisa Hosler

The other week a colleague burst through my door. A multiphased project had crossed an important threshold. She was elated, I was overjoyed, but we were both busy. It would’ve been easy to knock knuckles and get back to work.

But Someone else was rejoicing with us.

We paused. She sat down. We prayed. We talked to our Father about the stages the project had gone through, and how we were now releasing it to others for input. God reminded us of how Jochebed lowered her bulrush bassinet into the reeds by the riverbank—entrusting her baby to God’s safe-keeping. And how He protected Moses and accomplished His purposes through his life. Engulfed in our Father’s embrace and anchored in His Word, we fully entrusted the project to Him.

Pausing to talk with our Father was honoring to Him and faith-building for us.

3 Reasons to Talk to the Wisest Person in the Room

1.  He’s your Father. You may be the CEO of your organization, but your main title and core identity is COG—child of God. You always need His love. You always need His protection. You always need His provision. His discipline. His embrace. These come through an active relationship which includes on-the-job prayer.

2.  He’s your Lord. As the Lord Jesus Christ, Jesus is Commander in Chief of your organization and of you as an individual. As such, He has supreme wisdom, ultimate guidance, and divine purpose—and He wants to share it. How essential—and strategic—to mine His wisdom through workplace prayer.  

3.  He’s your Friend. Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as your Advocate, your Helper, your Comforter, your Teacher. The One who indwells and empowers. These words remind me of the description of God in Psalm 46:1 – “an ever present help in time of need.” The Holy Spirit is with you in the midst of the busiest day, the most difficult meeting. Talking to Him is helpful, comforting, empowering.

Leaders who pause through the day to talk to God—on their own and with others—demonstrate they know who the True Leader of their organization is, need His wisdom, and value their love relationship with Him.

I want to be that kind of leader.

What keeps you from praying while you’re in your leadership role, and what are the benefits when you do? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.

Sign up to receive emails from Lisa

Email Signup
Lisa Hosler. All rights reserved.