Leaders Inspire Hope

People need hope. There are too many things going on in our world that cause people to fear and to worry.

We can all find things to complain about or worry about. I don’t think we need any training in this area. It seems to come so naturally to us. It is much harder to look for and find the good in life, in business, and in ministry.

My grandma was a good pessimist – if there is such a thing. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not putting her down, but she was incredibly creative in finding things to worry about. If you are going to be a leader that inspires hope you will need to be an optimist. You will need to be creative in seeing the good in things and in finding things to smile about.

Hope is an antidote to fear. Hope teaches that just maybe we can make a situation a little better. If we can instill a little hope in the people we work with, we will have done a great kindness to humanity. And we may very well find that our team wants to work all the harder for us because they enjoy the environment and are excited about the good they are able to be part of.

I believe in God. I believe that He is over all things, so I can trust him to work in situations I am in. I know that no matter how dark life may get, God, through His Spirit is walking with me. Even the worst situation can become more hopeful when we realize God is looking after us.

I’ve come to recognize the value of inspiring hope in the people around me, and I’d encourage you to do the same. It can be difficult to know where to start, so here are a few suggestions:

  1. Focus on the positive things. You could use appreciative inquiry when planning ahead or looking to improve something. Appreciative inquiry is more interested in what is going well and building from that, than what is not going well and how to get rid of that. The focus is on what is positive.
  2. Be kind. People receive enough negative messages without us joining in. Be kind to others. Say something nice about who they are or how they have impacted you. Say thank you and please. Be respectful of them as a person.
  3. Seek creative solutions. Be more interested in dreaming wild dreams and allowing people to get carried away in their imaginations than stifling any conversation that goes a little off the beaten path.
  4. Be a giver. Give more than you take. Be generous with your time and money. Seek to bless others rather than receive.
  5. Be willing to learn from those who have figured out how to do something well. Instill hope by showing your team that others found solutions, and you can too.
  6. Be humble. Don’t let your pride prevent others from blossoming into incredible people. Be okay with helping others become their best, even if that means that at some point the student surpasses the teacher. That’s actually one of the best compliments you could receive.
  7. Share information freely. Sometimes hope is overcome by fear because people don’t see the whole picture. Communicate well so that people will know what they need to know.
  8. Be a friend. Sometimes people just need someone to walk with them, or to listen, and try to understand.
  9. Be a pray-er. Do not hesitate to go to God with the problems of the day. Ask God to help you. And pray that God will encourage others. Pray with people and for people. God can give hope no matter the circumstance.

Hope says there is a better tomorrow. Hope says I will have others to walk with me along the way. Hope says no matter the problem, we can find solutions.

Let’s be leaders that inspire hope in the people we work with.

Keep looking up,

Andy Wiebe

Rejuvenating the Crushed Spirit

The human spirit can endure a sick body,

    but who can bear a crushed spirit?

Proverbs 18:14

I came across this verse in my daily readings and immediately saw its application in today’s covid-ravaged world. Covid has hit many people, millions around the world. Many of us know someone who has been hospitalized, and even died. It’s amazing how positive some people can be in the middle of physical pain, even as they are facing death. Some people can keep their faith strong and their spirits up in the battle against physical odds. But the same people can be utterly crushed by loneliness, and despair, and frustration, and discouragement.

When we are sick, we know we have to fight the disease. Others join the battle with us – doctors and nurses who minister to us in the hospital, or friends and family that bring us food or look after our family while we are down and out with physical issues.

When we are sick in our spirit, it is harder to find the ones who will battle through it with us. We are less likely to open up about it to others. And when we do, people aren’t sure how to offer help. A friend told me a colleague had asked how he was doing. He answered, “Actually, I am having a pretty hard time right now.” The other answered, “Well we are all having a hard time right now”, and walked away. My friend had been hoping for some words of encouragement or at least an understanding that his spirit was crushed more than it had been in a long time.

Who is standing with you as you endure and try to “bear a crushed spirit”?

Some of us have a loving and caring spouse who can walk with us in our low times. We have agreed to be there for each other in “sickness and health… in good times and bad.” I have marveled at how many times God has arranged for me or my wife to be the one who supports the other. Often when my wife is feeling crushed, I am strong, and when I feel crushed in my spirit, she has been strong. But it is not always the case, and not everyone has a supportive spouse.

Some of us have the benefit of great friends. We have people in our lives that have gotten to know us and have stuck with us through the years. We can call on them and they will show up. A few years ago, we moved in with another couple for a few months. God arranged for us to support these friends even as they supported us. We were able to encourage and pray for each other. But not all of us have friends like that.

Some of us have great benefits or financial means to be able to go to a counsellor or therapist who can walk with us in our crushed spirits. Professionals like this can be a big help. They often have tools to use to encourage us, or even know how to refer us to others for further help. But not all of us have access to professional help.

I don’t know where you turn for help when yours spirit is crushed and you are barely hanging on. I hope you have someone.

I think one of the best places to find that supportive uplifting help we need is our church. Hopefully you have a church family that loves you and encourages you. If you don’t, I’m sure there is a church in your neighborhood that would love to welcome you in and support you and encourage you.

Church services are great because they point us to Christ. Jesus knows all about us. He lived the life of a human on our earth for 33 years. He understands our crushed spirit pain – and wants to help. When we sing songs of praise and worship we are encouraged. My wife and I were in a low point when we began attending a new church. It was amazing how God used the worship services and encouragement of the pastors and congregation to lift us up and to revive our spirit. If you do not have a church where you are being revived, then look for another one where you will be.

Some of you are pastors. You are the leaders of a church and you are not sure you are getting that reviving that I am talking about. You feel that no one is noticing how low you are, and no one seems to have time to care for you. That may be true. You know your situation. If this is you, then look for places where people specifically love to minister to pastors. My wife and I would highly recommend places like Focus on the Family’s Kerith Retreats. They exist specifically to encourage those in ministry.

If you are bearing a crushed spirit, Jesus wants to be your life. As you surrender your life to him, he truly wants to give you life, and life abundantly. Take time to talk with him. Pour out your heart. Maybe you want to write down your prayers and present them to God. Maybe you need to just cry out to him and ask him to move.

Do not give up. God wants to revive you. He wants to restore your crushed spirit to new life and new energy and joy. I pray that you will find that renewal in Him.

Keep looking up.

Andy Wiebe

http://www.elevatecoaching-consulting.com