Effective leadership requires compassion. When you are seeking to build healthy relationships, move toward your mission, and hold people accountable for their contributions to the mission, you are often forced to look at the people in a critical light. 

When making your judgments and decisions, it is important to remember that the people entrusted to your care are human beings, beloved children of God. They are going to make mistakes. They are going to disappoint you, let you down, and say things out of line.  They will even at times act like they are sabotaging the mission.

On your best days, it is difficult not to take such actions personally. But, at the end of the day, if you remember that the people with whom you work are human beings with their own pasts, their own personal issues, frailties, and struggles, you will remember that each of them are in need of grace.

Forgiveness is Key

That is why forgiveness is one of the key components of effective and courageous leadership. When you are able to forgive mistakes and be generous with the people you are leading, you will encourage and empower people to be more who they are created and gifted to be.

Your effectiveness as a leader requires your acts of compassion. People are going to speak back to you and have their own ideas. Their personal lives are going to impact their work, their past experiences will affect their relationships. More often than not, they are not even aware of their words or actions. 

As a Christ-centered leader, a fundamental element of your effectiveness is forgiveness. 

Remember that in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus prays at particularly important points in his ministry. His pattern has been to go to a desert place or a lonely place to pray. He prays to keep his focus on what God has called and commissioned him to do. 

He prays seeking direction when he is tempted to follow the crowd, “Do I go with the crowd or do I go to the cross?” He prays when Simon Peter and the other disciples misunderstood his suffering and dying as a contradiction of who and what they understood the Messiah to be and do. And, he prays when his identity and purpose as suffering Messiah did not match the images of the people who loved him and who followed him. 

Let’s use the pattern of Read, Reflect, Respond, Return to explore what Luke says about Jesus and forgiveness. 

Read Luke 24:23 

Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing. 

Reflect

This prayer is in keeping with the character and life of Jesus. He is praying for forgiveness for those who are violating him because they did not know what they are doing. In Luke, the primary problem is ignorance. They killed the Lord of glory in ignorance. 

For the Romans, Caesar was Lord. The government was central. To speak or act against Rome was considered heresy. Crucifixion was used to warn citizens what would happen to them if they were disloyal to Rome. People were sacrificed on crosses to warn others what would happen to them when they committed heresy. 

Now Jesus is on the cross and he prays, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” 

Forgiven for Ignorance

I know it seems strange that anyone would have to be forgiven for ignorance. We usually don’t put forgiveness and ignorance together. But when you think of the different kinds of ignorance that move and motivate people, the ignorance that closes their eyes when they have every opportunity to see the truth, our only hope is “Father, forgive them…” 

When I think about it, evil could be called intentional ignorance. When we refuse to listen or to understand. When we remain silent and do nothing. When we turn our backs and say, “Well, it is terrible, but it is not my problem.” That is intentional ignorance. 

The crowds walked by Jesus on the cross, and their only words were insults, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.” “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us.” Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” It sounds like Jesus forgave them for their ignorance. 

It took courage, as well as love, for Jesus to forgive the people hurling insults, who at one time confessed their allegiance and are now calling for his life. 

It Takes Courage

As a Christ-centered leader, it will take love as well as courage to lead with forgiveness. Think about it:   

When your lead team decides that making grace-filled Jesus followers is your mission and someone in the congregation disagrees and works against the direction you are leading, it will take love and courage to lead with forgiveness. 

When people say with their lips that “everyone is welcome” but their actions show otherwise, it will take love and courage to lead with forgiveness. 

When people say “we want to be followers of Jesus” but they don’t want to connect with their neighborhood and to be involved in their community, it will take courage to lead with forgiveness. 

When you offer bible studies and classes on becoming Christian disciples that will help church members grow in their faith and the assumption is that bible study and classes are for the people who are not present or actively supporting the church, it will take love and courage to lead with forgiveness. 

When you stand to preach and name issues of injustice and you get emails and texts that you should not be political in the pulpit, it will take love and courage to lead with forgiveness. 

When you respond to gun violence and the killing of children in classrooms and the killing of adults in night clubs and someone says, “It is my right to own a gun”, it will take love and courage to lead with forgiveness. 

When you name the evils of racism and say that it is Christian to love persons of different ethnic backgrounds, it will take love and courage to lead with forgiveness. 

When someone says that because you are a woman you should not be preaching or teaching, it will take love and courage to lead with forgiveness. 

You can add your own situations to my list. You know where you are challenged to lead with forgiveness. But as a follower of Jesus, with people entrusted to your care, you lead with forgiveness. 

The Love of God

The words, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing,” were spoken by a person whose only weapon was the love of God. Whose only crime was being different. Who raised suspicion because he challenged the systems of hatred, prejudice, and bigotry. Yet, in the midst of being put to death for extending love, even to his enemies, he called upon God to forgive the ignorance of his abusers and accusers.

Think of it this way. What defines any of us looking for growth and personal development is not a spotless life of constant kindness and an even temperament, but a willingness to learn from mistakes, and to make the choice to come to terms with whatever has happened to us. As a leader, when you act with compassion and offer forgiveness, you are more able to shape the lives of people and assist them in becoming who God has created them to be.

Forgiveness is the Attribute of the Strong

Mahatma Gandhi warned that “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” And according to Indira Gandhi, “Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave.” Forgiveness is a powerful concept for leaders and for a Christ-centered leader, it is a necessity.

Leading with forgiveness can change how the people entrusted to you live and interact with one another, connect with their community, and view the world. Leading with forgiveness creates internal harmony and a sense of care and compassion. Leading with compassion turns failures and unwanted situations into a culture of understanding and generosity. It creates places where people feel safe to express themselves and function at their best.

Forgiveness may be the most important gift you can give to the people entrusted to you. As you model forgiveness you are offering others the chance to take risks, learn and grow in their own leadership.  Without forgiveness, there cannot be true leadership.

Respond

As a leader, you have an important influence on the lives of people. Where there is a lack of forgiveness there is a climate of anger, bitterness, and animosity. To lead with forgiveness changes the atmosphere and culture in which people live, work, and play. But as you know, forgiveness is not easy.

So, here are several ways to lead with forgiveness:

Be generous in your assumptions.

Intentionally work to understand the true intentions of others. Have a sincere conversation and ask questions for your clarity and understanding.

Be compassionate in your actions.

Relationships are important. Treat and care for others the way you want to be treated and cared for. You are a person in need of love and encouragement just as the people entrusted to your care.

Be generous with yourself.

While you are leading others and often seeing them in a critical light, you are placing yourself under a critical eye as well. You know the areas where you need forgiveness and compassion. When you can approach your own difficulties with gentleness, it’ll be easier for you to forgive others as well.

Let go of resentments.

As you allow yourself to be forgiven, you create a space for others to forgive. I am sure you can think of other ways to lead with forgiveness. As you put each one into practice you become more of the leader needed for this time.

Return

Give God thanks for the people you met today. How did you lead with forgiveness? With whom and in what areas did you need help in practicing forgiveness? Name those persons and situations before God. Ask God to give you the power to love others as God has loved you. What will you do differently tomorrow as a leader of forgiveness? Give God thanks for the opportunities you had to love others as you have been loved. Ask God to give you the power to forgive others even if they do not understand.

Prayer

O God, forgive me when I do not understand, and do not get it right. By your grace, forgive me when I don’t want to understand and I don’t want to live and lead the way you created me to live and lead. Put within me the desire to learn and grow, so that as I lead with forgiveness others will see you in me and my actions and be drawn to you. Use me as an instrument of your love and peace. In Jesus’ name. Amen

As a Christ-centered leader, you have the responsibility of choosing people who have the potential for leadership. You not only have the responsibility for finding the potential in people, but you have the opportunity to develop that potential. You help identify the gifts, strengths, talents, and faith of persons and then assist them in using those gifts, strengths, talents, and faith in ways that reveal the love of God in every situation and circumstance of their lives.   

Too often, either because it is not a priority or it seems unnecessary, leaders don’t always invest the time or energy in identifying and developing the leadership strengths and talents of the people entrusted to their care. Yet, choosing leaders and assisting them in their development is one of the most significant aspects of your work as a leader. 

Your effectiveness as a leader is experienced in the ways you build trust, show compassion, provide stability, and offer hope in developing relationships. Your courage as a leader is seen in the ways you choose and develop leaders. 

Prayer-Shaped Leadership

As a Christ-centered leader, a fundamental element of your effectiveness is prayer. Luke, the gospel writer, tells us that Jesus spent the night in prayer before choosing people to join him in ministry.   

When the time came to choose people to join him, Jesus retreated to the mountain to pray. He prayed to keep focus on the context of his ministry and to keep the continuity between what he is doing and what would be needed in the future. Luke tells us he prayed to God all night long. 

His prayer was not about how he was feeling or what he wanted. Jesus was not making a political decision or choosing people who would see things his way. He was seeking a connection between God’s people of the past and God’s people of the future, by choosing leaders for the present. His all-night prayer vigil was not just for the moment but for each of us who are in the church today. He prayed to keep focus, not only on the history of Israel but on the future of God’s people. 

Read Luke 6:12-16 

During that time, Jesus went out to the mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night long. At daybreak, he called together his disciples. He chose twelve of them whom he called apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter; his brother Andrew; James; John; Philip; Bartholomew; Matthew; Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus; Simon, who was called a zealot; Judas the son of James; and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. 

Reflect

Jesus prays all night long to choose twelve of his followers, from all the others, to be apostles. My perception is that this was not a casual thing for Luke or for Jesus. I do not believe that God said, “Take this one and this one and this one.” If that were the case, why would Jesus pray all night? 

What I have learned is that the Holy Spirit and faith do not make life simpler or easier, only deeper, more meaningful, and more powerful. Jesus prayed all night to choose from all who followed him. 

Staying Focused Through Prayer

Jesus was praying to keep the focus on the context of his ministry. There is a continuity between what he is doing and with Israel. The twelve disciples are related to the twelve tribes of Israel. Luke understands that in Jesus, God is continuing what God started with the people of Israel. So, his all-night prayer vigil was not just for the moment but for us. He is praying to keep focus, not only on the history of Israel but on the future of God’s people. 

One of the most difficult prayers to pray is the church’s prayer. The prayer is not about what you want. The prayer is focused upon who God needs to be faithful.  You do not pray from your best thinking or best practices. Your prayer is focused upon God and who God needs you to be at this place and time in history and for the future of God’s people. 

Praying All Night

So, Jesus prayed all night. He was conscious of others besides himself. It is a critical moment in the history of Israel, in his own life, and for the future of the church. So, he prayed. You and I can say we began as an all-night prayer vigil in the heart and mind of Jesus. 

It is through prayer that you keep your focus on God’s plan and purpose.  If you don’t keep your focus on God, you will make your decisions based on your preferences. You will choose others who will perpetuate your preferences. You pray to keep your focus on God. It is essential that you keep your community, neighborhood, and city in mind and heart as you choose leaders who can hold the past and future together. Prayer will connect you to God’s great plan. It will help you see the world more as God sees the world. 

Developing a Pattern of Prayer

We are at a critical moment in the life and future of the church. Jesus spent the night praying for you to be the leader needed at this point in time. If Jesus was keeping you, the future church, in heart and mind as he prayed that night, it seems to me that prayer is essential as you shape spiritual leaders for today. Your prayers are essential as you choose leaders who can and will, in the midst of re-formation, connect the past with the future. 

I know that it seems overly dramatic, but at the end of life, you will not be judged by how many diplomas you have received, how much money you have made, or how many great things you have done. You will be judged on how you love the people God sent your way. You will be judged on how you lived your life in relationship to others and on how you assisted people to become who God created them to be.   

Your leadership will be judged by the love you put into others. Jesus prayed all night before choosing the twelve who were close to him.  So, it is essential that you, as a Christ-centered leader, develop a pattern of prayer. Your prayer is necessary in choosing leaders. 

Respond

In choosing leaders for your congregation, keep the context of the congregation in mind. Consider, not only the history of the congregation but, the future of the congregation. Consider, not only the history of the congregation but the overall history of the Christian church and how that history is connected to and informs the present and shapes the future.   

In choosing leaders for your congregation, consider the gifts, talents, strengths, and depth of faith needed to connect the life of the church to the present and future. Look for trustworthy, active, and persuasive persons who live out their faith in everyday and ordinary relationships. 

In choosing leaders for your congregation, pray.  Take as much time to pray as it takes to consider God’s call upon the life of the congregation and upon the lives of the people in the congregation. Pray that the beloved children of God will live as God’s beloved children in the way they love one another. Ultimately, it is better to be a loving body of Jesus followers who love others as they have been loved than to be a religious club built upon personal and theological preferences. 

Who you are is how you lead! 

Return

Give God thanks for the people you met today. For whom did you pray? In what ways did you pray to the leadership of others? How were you exercising leadership when you prayed? In what ways did you assist others to pray and to become who God has gifted them to lead? Give God thanks for the opportunities you had to love others as you have been loved.

Focus is important for leaders. It is the doorway to memory, perception, learning, reasoning, problem-solving, and decision-making. Without good focus, all aspects of your ability to think and make decisions will suffer. If you can’t focus effectively, you can’t think effectively.

Writing for the Harvard Business Review, Donald Goleman, in his article “The Focused Leader” writes, “Leaders need strengths in three areas of focus: self (inner), people (other), and system (outer) awareness. Inner focus attunes us to our emotions and intuitions, guiding values and better decisions. Other focus strengthens our connections to the people in our lives. And outer focus lets us navigate the larger world… Every leader needs to cultivate this triad of awareness, in abundance and in the proper balance, because a failure to focus inward leaves you rudderless, a failure to focus on others renders you clueless, and a failure to focus outward may leave you blindsided.” 

Focus on Prayer

So, focus is important. As a Christ-centered leader, you keep your focus through prayer. Whether lay or clergy, prayer brings clarity, direction, affirmation, and power. So, whatever you are facing in your personal life, professional life, church life, or community life, prayer makes the difference in how you lead. 

In the gospel of Luke, we are not sure what brought the disciples to the point of asking Jesus to teach them to pray. But as I think about it, the motivation is not as important as the participation. When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, Jesus was ready to provide them with direction. He did not ask them their motivation; he provided them with a pattern. 

His pattern was to go to a lonely place to pray and then come back to engage in ministry. His time away to pray was to keep his focus on God’s call and to test his desires in response to God’s call. As a follower of Jesus, called and commissioned as a leader, you pray to keep your focus on God and to keep the desires of your heart in alignment with Jesus. 

Although it was developed for bible study, the pattern of Read, Reflect, Respond, and Return is a proven pattern that can and will assist you in keeping your focus on prayer. 

Read Luke 11:1

Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”  

Reflect

Luke has Jesus praying at particularly important points in his ministry. His pattern is to go off to a desert place or a lonely place to pray. It was in those times of prayer that Jesus kept his focus on the ministry God called and commissioned him to do. 

Through prayer, Jesus not only received his call and commission for ministry, but he also sought direction for his ministry. When he experienced success in his ministry, he prayed. He prayed to check the desires of his heart, “Do I go with the crowd, or do I go to the cross?”

It was through prayer he chose twelve apostles out of all the disciples who followed him. He was seeking those who, in the present, could hold together Israel and the emerging Christian community. 

In the feeding of the 5000, Jesus was feeding those who are hungry as the sacrament of Holy Communion. In relationship to Simon Peter’s confession, Jesus prayed because Simon Peter and the other disciples misunderstood his suffering and dying as a contradiction of who and what they understood the Messiah to be and do. 

In the story of the Transfiguration, Jesus prayed because his identity and purpose as suffering Messiah did not match the images of the people who loved him and who followed him. In the mission of the 70, it is in prayer that Jesus gives thanks to God for the faith given to his followers. 

Now, when he returns from his time of prayer, his disciples are asking him to teach them to pray. They knew that John the Baptist had taught his disciples to pray, so when Jesus returned from prayer, they took advantage of the opportunity to ask him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” 

I think it is interesting that the disciples have been present with Jesus through each of these experiences of prayer and they have not prayed. Jesus has been praying to keep his focus on God and what God has called and commissioned him to do. Are the disciples now asking for the same focus? 

Teach Us to Pray

As I reflect upon “teach us to pray,” I think of the tradition in which I grow up. The persons who prayed felt their prayers were more genuine and spirit-led when they prayed extemporaneously. They just let it flow because what just flowed was more genuine. 

They didn’t think about what to pray. What I remember is, what flowed naturally was what was on their minds and in their hearts. Too often they were not thinking of the conditions of the world or of the people beyond their own families or community. Their prayers were genuine, but the brokenness of the world and the pain of others beyond themselves did not automatically flow. 

I think the disciples had not given much thought to prayer until they experienced Jesus praying. Other than observing Jesus, their only experience of prayer was with John’s disciples. They had seen the power of prayer and they wanted their prayers to make a difference. They knew that John had taught his disciples to pray and now they wanted to pray. So, they asked, “Lord, teach us to pray.”  

Persisting in Prayer

There is one more thing to consider as a Christ-centered leader focused on prayer. Luke has gathered Jesus’ teaching material on prayer in chapter 11. Immediately following what we know is as the Lord’s Prayer, Luke tells a story on persistence or perseverance in prayer. This teaching is to reassure believers that their prayers are heard and answered. If a grouchy neighbor awakened from sleep will respond to an urgent request for bread, how much more will God respond to our prayers. The story is not about praying harder or longer. Luke is encouraging his community to persist in prayer because to pray is to stay focused upon God and God’s call and commission to ministry. 

Jesus’ pattern was to go to a lonely place to pray and then come back to engage in ministry. His time away to pray was to keep his focus on God’s call and to test his desires in response to God’s call. Luke’s encouragement to persevere in prayer is to keep your focus on God. 

Ask, Seek, Knock

Next to perseverance in prayer, Luke places the “ask,” “seek,” and “knock” sayings. “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.” 

In Chapter 10, Luke tells of Jesus sending the disciples out, his instructions on what to take with them, and how to respond to those who accept them and reject them. The “ask,” “seek,” and “knock” material was adopted by the early Christian missionaries as encouragement to live out their mission, depending only on friendly supporters along the way. Luke uses the sayings in relation to prayer. Since God is eager to hear and respond to the believer’s prayer, we may confidently ask, seek, and knock, no longer on human doors, but on the gates of heaven. 

Luke concludes the teaching material with, “how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.” 

So, as a Christ-centered leader, the power in prayer is to stay focused upon God and God’s call to ministry. Focused prayer involves preparation. There are times when your mood may not be right; an irritated or anxious temper may get in the way. Or perhaps the preoccupation with work and family may be clouding and crowding your thoughts. A dozen different demands and pressures make special preparation an absolute necessity for real prayer. So, remember this: To pray is to focus on God and God’s call. To pray is to live in God’s presence and to receive God’s power. “Lord, teach us to pray.” 

Respond

To learn to pray and be focused when praying, ask yourself the following:

  • What would happen if you listened to the news or read news stories in preparation for prayer?
  • What would happen if you walked your neighborhood focusing upon your neighbors as you prayed? What would happen if you educated yourself to think naturally of children, poverty, gun violence, prejudice, hunger, or homeless in your neighborhood?
  • What would happen if you became more aware of the politicians, the first responders, the teachers, the medical personnel in your community or neighborhood? 

Asking Jesus to teach you to pray means that you prepare yourself to share more than your thoughts and feelings. As a Christ-centered leader, focus your prayers to become more than “just how I feel” prayers. Praying extemporaneously is important, focused prayer is what makes the difference. 

Return

Give God thanks for the people you met today. When and where did you pray? What was your motivation to pray? How were you exercising leadership when you prayed? In what ways were you assisting others to pray? Give God thanks for the opportunities you had to love others as you have been loved.

Prayer

O God, as I open myself to you in prayer, I am asking you to teach me to pray. Keep me focused on you and your direction for my life. Keep me mindful of the world around me so that I may pray for the well-being of the people around me and the community in which I live. By your grace, continue to make me an instrument of your love and peace so others might know of your love and acceptance. Thank you for the opportunity to be one of your leaders at the point and time. I do believe you created me and gifted me to lead for such a time as this. I offer myself to you in the name of Jesus. Amen

When considering the most fundamental traits of leaders, we usually talk about vision, relationships, communication, character, and even charisma. We seldom consider prayer as a key characteristic, yet prayer is a primary trait of Christ-centered leaders.

When we look at Jesus, one of the defining qualities of his leadership was prayer. Whether he was withdrawing to a lonely place (Luke 5:16), making critical decisions (Luke 6:12-13), or navigating a crisis (Luke 22:40-42), Jesus looked upward for wisdom and strength in every situation and circumstance he faced.

Prayer-Centered Leadership

Prayer is the focus of your work as a Christ-centered leader. Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest wrote, “Prayer does not fit us for the greater works; prayer is the greater work.” Leading with prayer is who you are as a leader. It is part of your call to leadership ministry. 

The disciples did not ask Jesus to teach them how to tell a parable, multiply the loaves, or heal the sick. They asked him to teach them how to pray. And when asked, Jesus taught them a pattern of prayer. 

When prayer is as natural as breathing, you will not only strengthen your life but you will strengthen your leadership. As you model prayer in your leadership you assist others in experiencing compassion and hope.    

Teach us to Pray

In Luke’s Gospel, when the disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray (Chapter 11), Jesus has been in prayer from the time of his baptism. It is interesting that Matthew and Mark do not mention prayer at his baptism, but Luke has Jesus praying. Why? What does prayer have to do with leading? 

Read Luke 3:21-22

Now when all the people were baptized and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:21-22

Reflect

From Luke’s perspective, this is the first reference to prayer in the life of Jesus. It comes in relation to his baptism. The image is that Jesus is in line waiting for his turn to be baptized. “When everyone was being baptized, Jesus also was baptized.”

Unlike Matthew and Mark, who give a description of Jesus’ baptism, Luke does not give us a description. The baptism itself is an “also” event. The focus for Luke is upon Jesus praying. “While he was praying, heaven was opened.” 

The baptism is over. The attention is not on the baptism but on Jesus praying. “While he was praying, heaven was opened… “And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” 

The words, “…heaven was opened…” come from Isaiah 64. The splitting of the heavens was a prophetic sign of the beginning of a new age. The Holy Spirit descends like a dove upon Jesus. The words, “voice from heaven: You are my Son…” come from Psalm 27. The words are used in relation to the coronation of a king. And the words, “with whom I am pleased” come from Isaiah 42. The words refer to the suffering servant of God. 

While Jesus Prays

While Jesus was praying there was a moment of clarification and affirmation of his identity in relationship to God. It was while he was praying that God laid claim to his life. After he was baptized, while he was praying, Jesus received confirmation of his call and direction for his ministry. 

In Luke’s gospel, the Holy Spirit brings power. For Luke, there is a connection between prayer and power. There is a connection between Jesus praying and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. “Now when all the people were baptized and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove.” 

Prayer Brings Clarity

This is the moment Jesus receives clarification of who he is and his role. He is crowned king, recognized as a suffering servant, and anointed for God’s work. This is the coming of the power of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus. This also points ahead to Jesus’ ministry, which will be characterized by prayer at significant junctures in his life and in the life of the church. 

Prayer brings confirmation and clarification of who you are. Prayer forms your identity as a follower of Jesus. It shapes who you are as a leader. Whether lay or clergy, the confirmation, and power for living out God’s plan and purpose do not come through position or office, the confirmation and power come through prayer. 

Respond

Prayer is the foundation for Christ-centered leadership. It is a regular practice for those who want to lead well. It is essential for developing healthy relationships and growing communities. It is vital in developing decision-making skills.

Through prayer, you cultivate the leadership needed to navigate moments of crisis. Character is not built in crisis; it is revealed in crisis. Develop a pattern of prayer so that you can and will respond with love, grace, and peace in moments of conflict. You will know what to do even before you think about doing it.

You are a beloved child of God. You have not only been affirmed but you have been called. Stay is a connection with God through prayer. Model humility, vulnerability, and authenticity and become more empathetic and generous in your relationships.

Return

Give God thanks for the people you met today. How was your call to leadership affirmed today? In what ways did you help someone know he or she was a “beloved child of God”? How did prayer shape your thoughts and actions? Give God thanks for the opportunities you had to love others as you have been loved.

Prayer

O God, I give you thanks for the assurance that I am your child. By your grace, continue to use me as an instrument of your love and peace so others might know of your love and acceptance. Thank you for the opportunity to be one of your leaders at this point and time. I do believe you created me and gifted me to lead at such a time as this. I offer myself to you in the name of Jesus. Amen