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 felt a tinge of excitement as I drove to the grocery store. I’d had a meaningful encounter with a cashier the week before, and hoped for another opportunity. As I wheeled my groceries into an open check-out line, I sized up the young cashier. Hmmm… he looks shy, I thought to myself. He probably wouldn’t be open to talking. And sadly, that was it. That was as far as I went in my thoughts. And my prayers. I just stood there, zoned out because of my own assumptions. I’m not condemning myself; just admitting that I had decided I wasn’t led, when actually I wasn’t willing.


  • Same thing at McDonald’s the following week. I took my Bible along for some mid-day inspiration during lunch. Two tables away, an elderly man sat nursing a cup of coffee. It seemed like he’d been there all day. Taking in the comings and goings of the busy people. Looking lonely. I thought of him several times throughout my short stay. I imagined what I might say to him. I prayed about what I might say. But I walked out, giving him a pleasant smile and a hello. Ugh. I think he could’ve used much more than that. But, I didn’t “feel 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.”



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.




I know, I know. Christmas, plus year-end responsibilities, equals one of the busiest seasons for Christian leaders. I don’t want to add to your stress, but I do want to add to your joy. And add light to those living in darkness. Let me explain.

On the Monday before Thanksgiving, during the Body of Christ time at our ministry, the staffer in charge encouraged us to think of ways we could extend Thanksgiving blessings to people we didn’t know. Ideas flew around the room, and God laid a few on my heart. Here’s how it played out through the week:

TUESDAY NIGHT I was running errands after a long day at work, and I needed something at the vitamin store. I’d been reaching out to the greeter there, but didn’t feel up to a conversation. When I told God, “I got nothin’,” He reminded me that He had everything. I pulled into the parking lot, half hoping the man wouldn’t be working. But he was. I greeted him by name and went on with my shopping—praying about what to say. After paying for my items, I told him I’d been praying for him and shared a verse with Him. He opened up, and we talked for an hour about his beliefs and mine. We were worlds apart, but face to face in a cordial conversation. He said, “You’re the first person who’s ever taken the time to listen to what I believe.”

THANKSGIVING DAY, between church and a family gathering, my husband and I stopped for gas. I went into the convenience store carrying a hand-made card with a verse and a five dollar bill tucked inside. As I paid for my protein bar, I said to the cashier, “I appreciate you working on Thanksgiving and wanted to give you this card.” His face lit up and he said, “Thank you so much!” He stretched out his hand to shake mine, and kept saying, “Thank you so much.” I asked his name and told him that God loves him and sees his hard work. The nameless, faceless young man was “Collin,” a precious human being who came to life when he experienced a touch of God’s love.

LATER THAT DAY we stopped at a restaurant where I meet monthly with a group of women to pray for our husbands and their small businesses. We often have the same waitress, who cheerfully tolerates our extended stays. The last time we were there, I told her why we meet, and she said, “I knew you ladies were up to something. That’s so cool!” The restaurant was mobbed on Thanksgiving Day, but before long I spotted her wielding an armload of plates. She greeted me with her typical, “Hey, sweetheart!” I gave her a card with some cash, a verse, and a few simple words – “This is a small token of our appreciation… but God’s love for you is no small thing…” She beamed and said, “You’ve made my day. Thank you!”

Even as ministry leaders, our 24/7 calling is to plant seeds of the gospel and make disciples. Engaging with people brings joy unspeakable into our lives, and the light of God’s truth into theirs.

So, during December—during this month of celebrating the birth of Jesus that has brought light and love and salvation and divine, eternal relationship into our lives—let’s share Him! Let’s share His love and truth! Let’s pray about ways to reach out of our comfort zones and into the lives of others. Jesus did it for us—He left the comfort of heaven to love on us. Let’s leave our comfort zones and love on others.

This new Christmas song, The Call of Christmas, by Zach Williams captures it well.


What are ways you plan to reach out to others this Christmas? Feel free to share your ideas in the Comment Section below.


Seeing And Speaking

Jesus, the greatest leader of all time, saw the individuals in the crowds around Him and was moved to compassionate action. As Christian leaders, we consciously engage with the people in our ministry world. But do we do the same with the people in our everyday world?

Last week I shared that God’s been leading me to interact with people when I’m out and about. As I’ve processed this with Him, He’s given me vision to see individual people with His eyes. He’s given me increased compassion, boldness to initiate conversations, and fresh insights to pass along.

It’s almost never been easy, it’s been awkward, and it’s also been ridiculously fulfilling. Best of all, people are being touched by God’s love.

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone into God’s Love Zone

  • I’m taking incremental steps with the greeter at a local vitamin store. On one occasion, I paused to say, “I just wanted you to know how much God loves you.” On another, I asked his name, and asked if there was anything he’d like prayer for. He responded, “You can do what you want, but I don’t believe in that stuff.” He might not believe now, but I’m praying he will. And I frequent that store.


  • A woman at Burger King had her head in her hands as she sat waiting for her food. I saw her on my way in, and was about to leave with my take-out meal when I noticed her again. I approached her and asked if there was anything I could pray for her about. There was. She was undergoing medical tests and was worried about the results. I prayed. Her husband joined us with a tray of food and a curious look on his face. I explained why I was there, and he shared that they’re believers. As it turned out, we had mutual friends through the ministry where I serve, and we had a great time of fellowship.


  • The man at the antique store in Washington D.C. wasn’t so receptive. As I paid for my small key, he explained that it was actually an old-fashioned lamp switch. I said, “Oh, so we can go from darkness to light—the same thing that Jesus does for us.” He said, “I’m an atheist.” To which I replied, “Well, even so, I’d love to pray for you, what’s your name?” He told me, shaking his head as I smiled at him and took my small parcel. It’s on my keychain—a tangible reminder to pray for him.


  • The cashier at the grocery store was having a hard day. Her scanner was broken and the produce scale was acting up. I began talking with her, and she added many more woes to her list of complaints. I sensed God’s heart for her, and as she handed me my receipt, I said, “As we’ve been talking, I felt God wanted you to know that you’re a jewel to Him.” Surprised, she said, “A jewel?” I said, “Yes, a jewel. You know, a gemstone. Not a rhinestone, which is a cheap imitation. He views you as a very precious jewel with great value.” God’s words hit her heart. Her face flushed. She said a soft, “Thank you,” with a sound of amazement in her voice.


When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd (Matt. 9:36, ESV)

See with God’s eyes. Feel with His compassion. Speak with His love and words. The call to be like our Good Shepherd extends beyond the sheepfold of our own ministry; sheep without a shepherd are waiting.


How have you been prompted to reach out to people you encounter outside your ministry circle? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.


It happens all the time in leadership. You have to make a critical decision in the next hour or the next day. Either way, there’s pressure to decide quickly. So how do you do that?

It’s tempting to go with your gut—to do what feels right in the core of your being. We’ve all done it. But is the core of our being always lined up with God’s wisdom?

Recently, a late-breaking opportunity/assignment came across my desk. I was asked to present material for a training video that would be used nationally. Opportunity-wise, I could help the national group. Assignment-wise, it would take time I didn’t have. Gut-wise, it was out of my comfort zone and I didn’t relish the added pressure.

I spoke with a colleague about it. Her first words were, “Seems like a distraction to me.” She knew my busy schedule and the importance of my current tasks.

I said, “Let’s pray about it,” and we did. As we prayed, my gut became more aligned with God’s heart. I began to see things from the national group’s perspective, and could see why they’d want leaders from the field to participate. More and more, it seemed like something I should say yes to. After we prayed, my colleague said, “The word ‘availability’ came to mind during our prayer.”

Ugh. That was the confirmation I needed. I essentially dropped everything, pressed through the weirdness of doing a sample videotaping—knowing it was what God wanted me to do—and sent it off to the videographer.

Had I gone with my gut, I would’ve bowed out gracefully. But had I gone with my gut, I would’ve missed God’s intention for me.

How to Go with the Spirit

  1. Acknowledge your gut. God already knows your instinctive feelings about the situation, but it’s helpful to express them to Him. Doing so will help you discern any influence from your flesh, and God will begin to align you with His Spirit.
  2. Find a trusted associate. You won’t always have time to include someone else in the discernment, but when you’re able to—it will be invaluable. You’ll gain their objectivity and their participation in prayer.
  3. Ask God for perspective. Be as open-minded as possible, and sincerely ask God for His wisdom. He wants to lead you, He wants you to hear His voice, and He will speak as you listen.
  4. Allow yourself to adjust. If what you’ve heard from God is different from your initial inclination, He’ll help you shift your emotions and make the necessary changes.
  5. Confidently obey. When you’ve made your decision according to God’s Word and Spirit, you are good to go. Press forward and be assured that God is with you as you carry it out.

In the fast-paced world of leadership, it’s tempting to make gut decisions on the fly, hoping for the best. But leaders who take time to press into God and go with the Spirit’s leading—and not just their gut—have a far better track record of making sound decisions.


Think of a time your gut said one thing and God said another. Feel free to share your scenario in the Comment Section below.


In the rush and rigors of leadership, it’s important to have regular encounters with God that cause our souls to soar. While these moments can’t be manufactured, we can position ourselves to experience inexpressible times of joy with God that characterize our lives.

A few years ago, I had one of these moments with a treasured friend. We’d been on a meaningful spiritual retreat together, and afterwards debriefed over generous slices of chocolate cake with peanut butter icing. In between delectable mouthfuls, she said, “I love you, Lisa Hosler!” It was unplanned by her, unexpected by me—and swelled both of our hearts. It became the capstone of our time together.

4 Elements of Memorable Encounters with God

  1. Togetherness. If you aren’t consciously spending time with God, you’re unlikely to experience the joy of His presence. Make time and take time to be alone with your Father.
  2. Communication. Interaction with God can happen in many ways—praying out loud, praying silently, journaling, etc. Most of all, remember to listen.
  3. Feasting. Think about it—food is often part of the equation when friends gather for fellowship. Even better than chocolate cake, the food of God’s Word is “sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb” (Psalm 19:10b ESV). Devour it and savor it.
  4. Intimacy. As you fellowship with God, express your love to Him and receive the outpourings of His love toward you. Some will resemble Niagara Falls; others will be like a droplet of rain. Either way, God’s affirmations are supernaturally replenishing.

This morning as I sat outside to be with God, I noticed the mist across the fields and the way it dimmed the distant trees. The birds were quieter than usual. Everything seemed hushed, muted. I had a big day ahead of me, and its components started to clamor in my mind.

Just then I sensed the Lord saying, “I’m right here with you, Lisa, enjoying the morning.” A simple declaration of His presence with me, His desire to be with me. And a subtle reminder to “enjoy” before embracing the responsibilities of the day.

It’s easy to become frustrated in the fray of leadership. But leaders who commune with God have an uncontainable wellspring of joy deep within their souls.

Although you haven’t seen Jesus, you still love Him.

Although you don’t yet see Him, you do believe in Him

and celebrate with a joy that is glorious and beyond words.

1 Peter 1:8 (VOICE)


In the Comment Section below, share about a simple experience of inexpressible joy as you spent time with the Lord.


Good leaders are good shepherds. They genuinely and actively care for the people they lead. They shepherd well because they’re Shepherded well.

If you’ve read my blogs recently, you know God led me out of my “God chair” and into the great outdoors. He’s used the open surroundings to open my spirit to His in a fresh way.

Last week, God added another element to my time outside. On that particular morning, my brain fog was pretty dense. I sensed God saying, “You could exercise out here, Lisa.” (Let me back up and say that in the months leading up to my dad’s death last year, exercise got squeezed out of my schedule. It’s never found its way back in. But I’ve wanted it to, and I’ve asked God for help.)

“You could exercise out here, Lisa.” Hmmm… could anyone see me? I glanced to the left—nothing but our warehouse roof. I glanced to the right—no windows on that side of our neighbor’s house. And our back deck faces a soybean field.

I was good to go and did my usual 20-minute routine. Afterwards, I felt more awake, more alert, and had a great time engaging with God and His Word. Every morning since then, I’ve followed my Shepherd’s prompting to exercise, and I’m a third of the way into the 21 days it takes to form a healthy habit. Best of all, I’m acutely aware of God’s TLC in my life.

How to Let God Shepherd You

  1. Own your sheephood. Proud, independent leaders aren’t prone to run to their Shepherd. Accept your human frailty and embrace your need for regular time with God.
  2. Ask for His care. Express your needs to God. Tell Him when you’re feeling thirsty, tired, or frustrated. He wants to hear your heart.
  3. Listen for His voice. God is always speaking. As we read last week in Psalm 19:2, creation “pours forth speech” about God, and so does His Word and His Spirit. We just need to quiet ourselves before Him to hear.
  4. Obey His promptings. As your Shepherd, God knows the nuances of what you need and when you need it. You’re a unique sheep, and He has specific ways of caring for you. When you sense Him leading you into something new, step into it.
  5. Stay close. God’s mercies are new every morning, and so is His care for us. When we’re eye to eye with God, we’re well within His reach as He ministers fresh love, truth, and direction.

Look how intentionally and gently God nurtures us in Isaiah 40:11:

He will feed His fold like a shepherd;
He will gather together His lambs—the weak and the wobbly ones—into His arms.
He will carry them close to His bosom,
and tenderly lead like a shepherd the mother of her lambs.

If this doesn’t characterize your relationship with God, review the steps above and ask God to scoop you up into His arms. It’s what you need, and it’s what your followers need to be true of you. Good leaders shepherd well because they’re Shepherded well.


How is God uniquely caring for you in this season? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.




Good leaders have a steady relationship their heavenly Father, which brings peace and stability to the organization they lead. But a consistent walk with God doesn’t have to take on routine-like qualities. He’s a master at keeping things fresh.

At the beginning of a workday set aside to be with God, He led me to our back deck. Initially, it was sensory overload—with all the outdoor sights and sounds. But soon, my soul quieted down, and I was able to focus on things one by one. The cabbage moth in the field, the sun warming my shoulders, the airplane’s trail across the sky.

I started writing in my journal, noting each unique thing.

I kept being drawn to the highest branches of our neighbor’s evergreen tree, where sparrows were gathering. First one, then two, soon four. I went inside to get my camera, but by the time I returned they were gone.

More observing, more note-taking, more soul-stilling.

Off in the distance, a larger bird perched atop another evergreen tree. I reached for my camera and he flew. Hmmm… I thought. I guess photography isn’t part of this experience.

 Eventually, I found myself taking in the whole of the evergreen tree. I noticed its stature, its stability, its symmetry, its strength, its beauty. I thought about its ever green branches—even in Pennsylvania’s freezing cold winters. Scriptures filled my mind; tears filled my eyes.

Father, I’ve felt frazzled lately with an overly full schedule at work and at home. I want to be like an evergreen tree. Anchored in You. Planted. Rooted. Grounded.

I spent the rest of the day immersed in Scriptures about roots, trees, and streams of water. By the end, my soul was at rest and I had a new scriptural focus.

7 Steps to Experiencing God Outside

  1. Get out. Plan a block of time, an hour if possible, to be alone with God outdoors.
  2. Just be. Breathe. Let your soul slow down.
  3. Get a sense of your surroundings. What do you hear, see, feel, smell?
  4. Tune in. Take notice of what God is drawing your attention to. What’s stirring your heart? Your emotions?
  5. Stay tuned in to that particular thing, and begin talking with God about it. Ponder related Scriptures. Let God speak to your heart.
  6. Hold onto what God is saying to you, even when you go back inside and resume your activities. Meditate on verses. Continue to chew on God’s truth until it becomes a part of you.
  7. You won’t recreate that experience, but follow God’s lead in meeting with Him outside the box of what’s typical for you.

A word that could never describe God is “boring.” More like unsearchable and inscrutable. These words, from Romans 11:33, point to the endless discovery of knowing Him. Leaders who desire to know God in His fullness do well to step outside the box to meet with Him. Favorite chairs, treasured Scriptures, and cherished worship songs are great. But God is still greater. Let’s step outside with Him!


What is one of your favorite ways to meet with God outside the box? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.


Remember riding a merry-go-round as a kid and watching your surroundings turn into one big blur? I used to focus really hard on a nearby tree and try to hold it in my gaze, only to have it swoosh away. Leadership can be like that. The plethora of projects can be head-spinning and ADHD-inducing, unless we regain our focus.

My husband and I have a 3-month-old puppy with a severe case of ADHD. Within one minute, she’ll chase a ball, notice her water dish, stop abruptly to lap up some water, lunge at our ankles for a quick nip, twirl around to attack the rug, and inadvertently bump into her ball, which scares her silly and sets off a cacophony of barks.

Our only hope at directing her behavior is to get her to look us in the eye. We say, “Look at me,” as we hold a treat near our eyes, and then reward her when she does. It’s not easy and it takes lots of repetition, but when she locks eyes with us, she’s all ours. She’ll sit, lie down, get back up, and stand on command. It’s an amazing—albeit short-lived, for now—transformation.

3 Benefits of Looking at Jesus

  1. Better view. Jesus is exalted. Reigning. Sovereign. Full of peace, goodness, and love for you. As you lift your eyes off your projects and onto Him, you’ll be freshly awed by the grandeur of His heart and character.
  2. Truer perspective. As you feast on Jesus and His Word, you’ll see your projects from His point of view and glean His wisdom for working on them.
  3. Greater direction. Instead of flitting from project to project, when you fix your eyes on Jesus, you’ll sense His priorities and guidance.

Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” The Greek word for “looking to” is aphoreό, which means “to look away from all else” (Bible Hub Interlinear Greek). So when Jesus says to us, “Look at Me,” He’s saying, “Stop looking at all your projects and gaze on Me for a while. I’m the initiator, sustainer, and perfecter of everything that concerns you.” Leaders who develop a regular habit of looking to Jesus will experience His presence, His peace, and His productivity.


What’s your workday like when you don’t look to Jesus vs. when you do? Feel free to share your experience in the Comment Section below.



God gifts leaders with vision, administrative ability, and people skills. But one of His greatest gifts is the ability to see with spiritual eyes. Let’s learn how to strengthen this ability.

Source: Google Images

My husband, Ron, and I stood on a pier overlooking a shallow body of water. To my surprise, a whole group of carp swam right up to us. “Oh my word,” I said to Ron. “Can you believe that?!” He said, “What? What do you mean? What are you looking at?” I pointed to the water and said, “Can’t you see them, they’re right there!” He said, “See what? All I see is the water!” Suddenly, I realized I could see into the water because of my sunglasses. I gave them to Ron and his mouth dropped open when he saw the school of carp.

Years ago at the ministry, we needed a speaker to do sexual integrity presentations in public schools. I’d done them for years, but the ministry had grown and I no longer had time. Over a period of weeks, we prayed God would provide a gifted communicator who could take the message to the next level. We spread the word to youth leaders, but no one came forward. We continued praying, and one day over lunch we were discussing our need for a speaker. As I described the type of person we needed, our events assistant threw her arms in the air and said, “That’s me! That’s totally me! I did theater all through college, and I’m passionate about purity. I’d love to do that!” Suddenly our eyes were opened, and we realized she would be perfect for the position. And she was. She’d been there all along, but only through prayer and discussion did God make it clear.

5 Ways to Sharpen Your Spiritual Vision

  1. Close your eyes and pray. You don’t have to close your eyes, but there’s something about shutting out the earthly realm and tuning into God’s realm that helps us see what He’s seeing. Talk with God about your situation.
  2. Ask God for wisdom. God’s wisdom is multifaceted, and His thoughts and ways are greater than ours. Ask with a willingness to lay aside your opinions and perspectives, and reach for His.
  3. Look for signposts in the Word. God desires to light the pathway for us, and He’ll often do that with specific Scripture passages and verses.
  4. Keep your spiritual antennae up. Nothing spooky here; just pay attention to how the Spirit may be leading through conversations and circumstances during your season of discernment.
  5. Discuss what you’re sensing. It’s best to have two or three others joining you in a time of discernment, and to gather periodically for prayer and discussion. God often gives each person a piece of the puzzle and then fits it all together.

God has 20/20 vision, and He wants to share it with us. In Jeremiah 33:3, He says, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” As a leader, if you want to sharpen your spiritual vision, call out to Him in prayer, spend time in the Word, and invite others to join you.


How has God sharpened your spiritual vision? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.


Stress is a given for leaders—especially during peak times of busyness. But it shouldn’t characterize our days, even busy ones. God has a cure.

That’s a tongue in cheek photo! But it’s true to what happened at our headquarters recently. We had a couple of stressful days leading up to our biggest fundraiser of the year—an outdoor event with a forecast of soaking rain and chilly temps. So our development assistant sent this email around the office:

As Lois said in her email, stressed spelled backwards is “DESSERTS.” We all rushed to the kitchen to devour chocolate cake that afternoon!

But as delicious as cake is, God has an even more satisfying and sustaining stress-buster for us. A good friend of mine, a leader of a non-profit ministry, describes it this way: “In the days leading up to our big events, I began noticing a pattern of frustration and stress among my staffers. Everyone had lots to do, and things weren’t going smoothly. So we changed the atmosphere. We began playing worship music in every administrative office. Now, God’s truths are filling our minds instead of stress, and event preparation is much more efficient and enjoyable.”

4 Keys to Finding Stress-Relief through Worship Music

  1. Choose well. Tune into the status of your soul, and ask God to direct you to the music He has for you. Find a long-playing YouTube worship segment on your computer.
  2. Set the volume. You know your work-style, and whether you like quiet background music or something a little louder. Make sure it’s loud enough to hear, while keeping your co-workers in mind.
  3. Tune in. Every so often, you may find yourself drawn to a particular song—whether it’s the melody or the words. When that happens, take time to stop what you’re doing, turn up the volume, and allow God to speak to your heart.
  4. Respond. God may prompt you to sing along, to watch the YouTube video for awhile, or to turn to a Scripture passage. Pausing to actively engage with God—in the midst of your workday—is a wise and worthwhile practice.

When I experience stress, it’s as though my mind is tuned into a static-filled channel on a radio. Instead of peaceful, flowing thoughts, I hear mind chatter—those niggling, negative thoughts about what someone just said, or the myriad of papers strewn about my desk, or the mountainous project just ahead. When we tune into God through worship, though, our minds are soothed with timeless truths about the greatness and goodness of our Abba Father.

May the words that come out of my mouth and the musings of my heart
meet with Your gracious approval,
O Eternal, my Rock, O Eternal, my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:14 (VOICE)


I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Psalm 34:1 (ESV)


How do you incorporate worship music into your work days, and what impact does it have? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.