Episode 212: Hope-Filled Encouragement for Christ-Centered Leaders

January 11, 2022

Will you play along for just a minute? Read the following statements out loud. Yes, I know, it might feel kind of weird. Will you do it, though?

  • You’ve got this…Because God’s Got You.
  • Cheering You On!
  • Know of my prayers for you.
  • Just thinking about you because I bumped into Jesus.
  • Celebrating your many gifts!

Encouragement looks different for different people. 

  • Some people respond to a written word or a phone call.
  • Others to a card or a text message. 
  • For some, it’s simply your presence.

Last week, we introduced the 3 reasons for this year-long focus on hope.  

Hope throughout the year is designed to do the following:

1) To provide hope-filled encouragement for Christ-centered leaders

2) To remind you of God’s presence and power 

3) To disciple you to lead with hope.

Along the way, we’ll have guests share their stories of hope. 

Hope-Filled Encouragement

This week, we’re exploring the first goal: to provide hope-filled encouragement for Christ-centered leaders.

Just for kicks, Sara looked up the definition of encouragement and guess what it said? The action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope.

The action of giving someone: 

  • Support
  • Confidence 
  • Hope

When we talk about giving you these things, really what we’re talking about is offering or sharing. If you’re not a willing participant, it’s hard to receive anything.

What we can do is offer support, seek to offer reminders to help fuel your confidence, and remind you of the God we know in Jesus who is hope.

As you explore what hope-filled encouragement looks like for you, perhaps the greatest encouragement you can offer is to remind people where you see Jesus. 

Big Question for this Week

  • Where have you witnessed Jesus this week? 
    • Next step: Encourage someone by sharing with them where you see Jesus in them. Or encourage someone by asking them where they’ve witnessed Jesus in the last week.

Mentioned in this Episode

Episode 212


[00:00:00] Sara: Welcome to leader cast episode 212.

[00:00:04] you're listening to Leader Cast, Transforming missions podcast with Tim Bias and Sara Thomas. Providing you with resources to navigate the challenges and opportunities of courageous Christ-centered leaders

[00:00:20] Sara: So today we want to dive into our first reason that we're going to be focusing on hope throughout the year. And that reason is we want to offer hope-filled encouragement for Christ-centered leaders. And yes, that's you that's us. That's the leaders that you are leading. And so that's the focus of this episode.

[00:00:43] As a reminder, you can find the show notes for this episode at transformingmission.org/212 And as a reminder, hope throughout the year, we're putting together a devotional resource. And if you'd like to contribute to that, you can find information about that on the show notes page as.

[00:01:03] Tim: So Sara, your introduction leads right into last week we introduced the three reasons for this year-long focus on hope, hope throughout the year is designed to do the following, to provide hope-filled encouragement for Christ-centered leader. That's what we're doing today to remind you of God's presence and power, and to disciple you, to lead with hope. And we want you to pay attention because every once in a while, you will be surprised with a guest to share their stories of hope throughout the each well, we do that. We won't do that every month. We'll just have special times for people for interviews, right.

[00:01:49] Sara: So Tim, yes. To answer your question, the opportunity. To invite guests to come on and share their stories of hope will happen at special times throughout the year, as we encounter stories and encounter people that are expressing and sharing that hope. And maybe it'll be through some of you that have chosen to write a devotional for hope throughout the year.

[00:02:11] So thank you to those of you that have already expressed interest in that and are beginning to.

[00:02:17] So, can we talk a little bit about this idea of encouragement and what it, what it looks like? So encouragement looks different for different people. Some people respond to a written word, a note in the mail. Other people respond to a text message and other people respond to a phone call. Some people aren't going to respond.

[00:02:41] If you leave a voicemail. It's just the way that, that it is. So it might be a card it might be showing up. It might be sending a text message for some it's simply your presence and being there with people. So encouragement can look different for different people. I think it's important for us to bring that up as we start the year, because.

[00:03:07] You won't, you won't say this because you all are gracious listeners. But I have heard people label things as encouragement. I'll own this. have said to myself, you think that's encouraging.

[00:03:22] And so just remember that encouragement looks different for, for different people. okay to ask yeah, how can I encourage you?

[00:03:34] Tim: Sara. I was thinking, as you were talking about encouragement there and the different ways I had a conversation. Two people over the last few days helped me see it in different ways. One of those persons said, oh, I'd much rather receive a card in the mail than an email because I can go back and look at it and hold it in my hand. I thought that was interesting because I think many of us think that we've already gone past the card in the hand stage.

[00:04:06] Sara: Yeah.

[00:04:07] Tim: But, but here was somebody that really wanted to have the card.

[00:04:10] Sara: Yeah. And, and hearing you say that Tim, I attended a funeral virtually Not too long ago. And the person, the pastor who was delivering the homily said at one point, and I'm forgetting who said this, I want to say it was Dallas Willard, but that's not who it was. He was quoting someone else. That's my point.

[00:04:33] He said, if you want to encourage a pastor, talk to them about Jesus. And, and, and he said it, I think it was Oswald Chambers. I will Google that and see if I can find it. I think it was Oswell chambers. And, and his point in saying that in the midst of this funeral, you might be thinking, why would you say that at a funeral?

[00:04:54] It wasn't a funeral for a pastor. What he led into was the person that they were honoring and remembering that day, he said, whenever I got one of his emails, it was one of the first emails that I would open because I always knew that his emails were about Jesus. It was a message of Christ. It was a question about faith.

[00:05:15] It wasn't something about we need to get this bill paid, or we've got to fix this, or how are we going to navigate that? You know, the. The other things that we do in ministry, it was about Jesus. And, I think about that and I think about, you know if you want to encourage someone. So maybe those of you that are listening here's your task for this week, reach out.

[00:05:42] If you are a pastor Reese, reach out to one of your pastor colleagues with a message about Jesus and remind them of where you're seeing Jesus in, in them. So just a different way to, it can be different. It might be a card. It might be an email.

[00:06:00] Tim: And so the other thing I was thinking and not to spend too much time here, but I think this is important for us, that I was having a conversation with a pastor who said to me and, and it was not doing anything other than just stating some things that he had done for the day. Was it, I wrote a couple of notes to people just expressing my appreciation. And I said, you hand wrote notes and sent them to people. And he said, yes. said, I've learned people to handwritten notes much more favorably than they do to email or text. And again, we're in a world where it's so much easier to email and text, and there were two people I'd run into that had said different things.

[00:06:54] Sara: Yeah. And, and just to poke fun at myself. My mailbox is in a bank of mailbox. And so I don't have to check my mail every day. And so I don't, but you darn well better believe probably not a day gone by that. I haven't looked at text messages email and so whatever is in the mailbox becomes that much more.

[00:07:23] Because it's not a part of the everyday fabric. And, and how often do I go? Okay. That's junk. That's junk. There's a bill. That's junk. That's junk. And when you're surprised by something in the mail. Yeah. It's, encouraging.

[00:07:39] Tim: So before I go, one more step, let me do one more. And that is if you're thinking about people who are in extended care facilities and people who are no longer living at home with family but have to be cared for on a daily basis. It might be a really good thing. Active encouragement just to send them a note or a card because that, that then is a way that they anticipate receiving something.

[00:08:10] It gives them some hope of looking toward well, the encouragement comes that they, that they are anticipating.

[00:08:17] Sara: Yeah.

[00:08:19] Yeah. And I, and Tim, I would extend that not just to extended care facilities, but to folks that are older and it has. That you know, that those reminders, we all need those reminders, but some of us need the reminders more than others.

[00:08:41] Tim: With all that being said, though, you can still text me or email me. And I like all those good words. So thank you.

[00:08:48] Sara: Me too. We're we are just trying to open. Open the flood gates and remind you that encouragement can happen in lots of different ways. So

[00:08:59] Tim: Sara, I think if I didn't mean to interrupt you, but I didn't, you look up the definition of encouragement.

[00:09:06] Sara: I did every once in a while, when we're planning and preparing for podcasts, I'll take a minute a minute and I'll just look something up because. Sometimes just getting to the root of how it's being defined or how it's being talked about help, me to get at the root of what's going to be most helpful to those of you that listen to the podcast.

[00:09:30] And so when I looked up encouragement, this was the definition that came up, the action of giving someone support confidence, wait for it or hope. So at the risk of being redundant in saying we're offering hope, filled, encouragement. talk about what encouragement is. We've already done that a little bit let's talk a little bit more about what encouragement is and what it is not.

[00:09:57] So the action of giving someone support confidence or hope.

[00:10:02] how do we give people hope Tim

[00:10:08] Tim: so when we talk about giving you these things, really what we're talking about is offering or share. If you're not, a willing participant, it's hard to receive anything. So when we're talking about hope, we're making an offering to you. We want you to prepare your heart, to mind, to receive them, and then maybe even act on them.

[00:10:31] Sara: Yeah. So what we can do is offer you support, seek to offer reminders, help fuel your confidence and remind you of the God that we know in Jesus who embodies hope. So let's talk a little bit about support Tim. One of my favorite questions and it comes from. I think an app adaptation of both what you have asked me in the past and also my work with Dare to Lead is what does support look like?

[00:11:08] One of the best ways that we can offer hope-filled encouragement to people is to know. What does support look like? Go back to what Tim and I were talking about as we started this episode, is it that email or is it a text message?

[00:11:26] Is it simply asking at the end of the day, Hey, how'd that presentation go? Or the night before? Are you ready for the presentation in the morning cheering you on?

[00:11:38] Tim: Yeah.

[00:11:39] Sara: is that what it, what it is? Or is it. You want someone to sit and be the recipient of the presentation? know why I came up with the presentation.

[00:11:50] We're just going to go with it. Before you ever deliver it to the people that you're, that you're sharing it with, what does support look like?

[00:11:58] Tim: And sometimes support might be I'm just thinking of you today or I'm giving God. Thanks for you today. It's just letting people know that well you're in their corner and that you're cheering them on.

[00:12:11] Sara: Yeah. The simple reminders were that you're thinking of them and you're there for them. How about confidence? How do we give people confidence?

[00:12:28] Tim: And you're asking someone who struggles with confidence. So we're not Sara. I think when we talk about confidence, we're not talking about arrogance. We sometimes. See people as being overconfident. And we, we confuse that with confidence?

[00:12:47] because, it comes across as being arrogant. What we're really talking about is, a solid trust.

[00:12:55] You've got this I'm in your corner. The fact that you're listening to a podcast says to us that likely someone who wants to continue growing. And so there are things that seeking to learn. You're willing to take risks and try new things, which whenever we begin something new, the ground, the field's a little shaky. We want this series on hope throughout the year to give you the confidence to stick to it, to um, I had the confidence to get back up when you fall the confidence to celebrate your successes, and the confidence to ask for help when you when you need it.

[00:13:35] Sara: Can I add one there, Tim

[00:13:37] Tim: do I'm on a roll, but you can keep me rolling here.

[00:13:41] Sara: the confidence to stink at something you do for the first time? How often do we think that need to be experts when we're just beginning?

[00:13:55] And so one of the ways that we can encourage one another, especially as leaders is when you're trying new things have an appropriate expectation of what's happening there that builds your confidence. You know, if you are expecting that you are going to look like an expert, be an expert in something that you're just beginning, you're going to feel defeated.

[00:14:20] Because it's probably not going to go. Well, think about any sports that you ever learned in life. Think about those of you that preach the first sermon that you preached. You're a different person today in your preaching abilities, than you were from that first sermon that you, that you delivered, I'm just setting you up to him to say my, how many years of ministry, what year, what year are we on now that we're in 2022.

[00:14:48] Tim: We're in your 48, Sara.

[00:14:51] Sara: to that point, would you say that you're 48, you're a different preacher. You're a different person, a different follower of Jesus than you were in year one.

[00:15:03] Tim: I most definitely. And part of the process I've been through and people who have known me 48 years ago, I didn't have a whole lot of confidence. That doesn't mean that there weren't people in my corner, people weren't cheering me on. That was part of what the transformation has been taking place in my life.

[00:15:27] Is that there, there is now confidence because I know who I am and who holds me and that's, I am I'm God's child. God's the one.

[00:15:37] that holds me,

[00:15:38] Sara: Yeah

[00:15:39] Tim: part of my confidence was struggling. Maybe even with that early on, I've heard you say too, and I'm going to pass this back to you for a moment.

[00:15:50] And that is a. Vulnerability has a lot to do with confidence. And you were talking about that, just stepping into something for the first time. And you know, there are really messy first drafts of everything that we do,

[00:16:03] Sara: right.

[00:16:04] right.

[00:16:05] Tim: that's like, but it's stepping into it that allows us then the confidence to keep going.

[00:16:11] Sara: Yeah. And where my brain was going. When you were saying that Tim was the stories that we tell ourselves and it's that, that crappy first draft of, you know, we makeup, the story that we're not good enough or. We didn't do that. Well, when the reality is no, what we did was we did it for the first time and it takes us rumbling with vulnerability to try new things, to step out in faith, to, to risk.

[00:16:42] Yeah. You know what, failing, because we don't always succeed the first time and, and to surround ourselves with people to say, okay, I really want to learn this, or I really want to do that. And I'm going to need your help again, let's go back to the first thing that we said in terms of support, I'm going to need your help to step into this.

[00:17:05] When I think about the things that that I did for the first time, and I mean everything from, you know, childhood, first of you know, the first recital that you are a part of, or the first sport that you played in. Where did you get that confidence? It came from the people around you, helping you to know, I'll say it for me, it came from the people around me helping me to know I wasn't alone in this, whatever happened was going to be okay.

[00:17:37] And to go out there and do my best. And that's all that we can do. And if at the end of the day you offered, what is your best in that moment? That's all that we can do. And, and I think that's where I'm transitioning a bit here into the third one around hope. And going back again to the hope cycle is that when we encounter those, those places on the journey, There's a roadblock, there's a diversion.

[00:18:09] There's something that stops us dead in our tracks that we have to think about what we're trying to do in a whole different way. Flashback, March 2020, take worship online. You can't meet in person that, as people of faith, that we're going to be people of hope we're going to learn how to navigate around because of that confidence, I might replace that word with agency and from the hope cycle, that agency comes from both the confidence and the support of the people around us being able to continue moving toward that goal.

[00:18:50] And so if you find yourself frustrated, Maybe this is a little coaching moment that we didn't plan for this episode. If you find yourself frustrated in something that you're trying for the first time, take a step back and look at the different elements of the Hope cycle of what's the goal that you're trying to achieve.

[00:19:13] Where are you at in terms of having the agency? And then what are the pathways that you've been trying to achieve that goal? And do you need to shift and adjust? Is there something that you can take ownership of in your leadership or is there something that you need to reach out to others to invite them, to support you, to help you learn so that you can achieve that goal?

[00:19:38] That's going to continue building hope and that cycle will continue. To swirl over and over and over again. Does that make sense to Tim?

[00:19:51] Tim: It does. I like the the whole idea of just knowing where you are and then what you need to accomplish or your goal. And then. Figuring out how you get there and navigating what gets in the way as you get there. That's what you're, that's what you're talking about. And all of us have the agency.

[00:20:16] It's not the same for each of us, but all of us have the agency to navigate the obstacle. Because, because we've been created by God who loves us and is with us throughout that whole process and has given us what we need to become, who we were created to be.

[00:20:36] Sara: Yeah. so I would say if you're feeling as though you don't have the agency ask yourself, are you willing to receive what God has given to you? And are you receiving what God has already given you? Because you may be saying yes, but acting in no.

[00:20:57] And so just have a little come to Jesus moment with yourself.

[00:21:00] Tim: Well, I was just thinking that's where that support would come in again. When somebody says, just tell me about Jesus in your life.

[00:21:09] Sara: Right. Tim, what would you like to offer to wrap up this episode in terms of hope-filled encouragement for our listeners or anything else?

[00:21:22] Tim: Oh, Sara. I think the thing I would just start with, and maybe it's all it needs to be said is that you're not alone. As you and I've talked even in this episode and before. If you're preaching a sermon on Sunday and you're having struggles, you're not alone. If you've never preached before you're afraid to stand in front of a crowd, well, just know that you're not alone, whatever you're facing, whatever you're trying to accomplish, just know you're not alone.

[00:21:56] And I, and I really liked that deal that if you want to encourage a pass. Just to ask them about Jesus.

[00:22:03] Sara: Yeah.

[00:22:06] Tim: Would that be cool if we could do that with each other, without being embarrassed and without people feeling like they're being put on the spot that all we have to do is is just say where's Jesus showing up in your life.

[00:22:20] Sara: Yeah,

[00:22:21] or

[00:22:22] Tim: and, with that, you're not alone.

[00:22:24] Sara: yeah, or, or in that started off by saying. Here's where I saw Jesus in you.

[00:22:32] Tim: Oh, that's even better. I like that.

[00:22:36] Sara: What a gift of encouragement that would be.

[00:22:40] Tim: That is that's really cool. Sara. I like that. That's a to be.

[00:22:45] able then to say, I know Jesus is with you. I've seen him with you and you've got this I'm with you. I'm in your corner. We're going to do this.

[00:22:58] Sara: Thank you for that, Tim and we hope that this episode has been a little bit of hope-filled encouragement for you today. Let me remind you that you can find show notes for this episode at transformingmission.org/212 forward slash 2 1 2. And remember who you are is how you lead bye for now.