Insights and resources for Christian leaders to deepen your relationship with Christ, the congregation and your local community. The church and your community need you to lead. LeaderCast covers faith topics that trip us up, hold us back, and guide us forward…all so you can lead a movement of Jesus followers.
Episode 213: Remembering God's Presence and Power
We’re on week 2 of 3, walking through the reasons we’re focusing on hope throughout the year. Today, we want to talk about the second reason we’re focusing on hope throughout the year. It’s simple: we want to help you offer weekly reminders of God’s presence and power.
As Christ-centered leaders, sometimes the very thing we forget to do is focus on the one who called us, equips us, and walks with us.
So, if we can be a reminder of God’s presence, in the form of a story, God sightings, asking questions, and encouraging you to pay attention to God, we will.
The pattern of the devotional we’re putting together, Hope Throughout the Year, is intended to guide you through paying attention to God’s presence and power. At the very same time, we’re seeking to share hope.
Today, the podcast walks through a sample devotion to help you experience God’s presence and power for yourself by following a simple pattern:
We’re focusing on Matthew 16:13-17, specifically where Jesus asks, “Who do you say that I am?”
Episode 212: Hope-Filled Encouragement
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 Hope throughout the Year Episode 207: Hope is a Big Deal Episode 211: Hope Throughout the Year Being and Becoming Hope: The HOPE Discipleship Pathway Hope is a Big Deal Is it Hope or Wishful Thinking? Hope is Everywhere Transforming Mission by David Bosch
Episode 211: Hope Throughout the Year - An Introduction
Happy New Year!
It’s hard to believe we’re already in 2022, but here we are. Today, we’re introducing the big theme for LeaderCast for 2022 and what's guiding Hope Throughout the Year.
Our Mission At the beginning of every podcast episode, you hear us say, “resources for Christ-centered leaders to navigate the challenges and opportunities of courageous, christ-centered leadership.” That’s the focus for the podcast and our work together.
There is Always Hope The last 22 months have added a whole new level of challenge to your leadership. It was already difficult at times. But, in 2020, you had to pivot without warning. You’ve poured your heart and soul into leading others. You’ve given God your best. And still, you may be facing discouragement and frustration.
Christian hope is not fleeting wishful thinking. It’s also not pie in the sky dreaming. Christian hope is grounded in the love of God we know in Jesus and our belief that the worst thing is never the last thing. After all, we are resurrection people. I know we just celebrated the birth of Jesus and we don’t mean to be moving toward Easter just yet, but, we’re Easter people regardless of the season. As followers of the living God, we are people of hope.
You’ve heard us talk about hope in different ways. Here are just a few. Explore the website for more!
Hope throughout the Year Being and Becoming Hope: The HOPE Discipleship Pathway Hope is a Big Deal Is it Hope or Wishful Thinking? Hope is Everywhere We Embrace Hope It’s safe to say, we embrace hope. We seek to model hope. We want to be people of hope. And at a very basic level, we think you do too.
So today, we simply want to say, week by week, month by month, we’re putting together a resource and companion for you to be a hope-filled, courageous, christ-centered leader.
The resource will be a book of devotions. The companion is this podcast.
Learn More About Hope throughout the Year
Three Reasons for Hope Throughout the Year Every month, the episodes will touch on one of these three reasons we’re focusing on Hope Throughout the Year:
To provide hope-filled encouragement for christ-centered leaders To remind you of God’s presence and power To disciple you to lead with hope Bonus: Along the way, guests share their stories of hope.
In the next three episodes, we’re going to walk through these reasons, helping to guide us in sharing at least three types of episodes each month.
For now, as we continue to become Christian disciples and help others become followers of Jesus, we want to remind you
Big Question of the Week Where did you experience hope this week?
Mentioned in this Episode Hope throughout the Year Being and Becoming Hope: The HOPE Discipleship Pathway Hope is a Big Deal Is it Hope or Wishful Thinking? Hope is Everywhere Transforming Mission by David Bosch
Episode 210: Love is a Big Deal
You’ve likely heard the familiar passage from Luke 2 several times the past couple of weeks. So as we conclude the year with, Love is a Big Deal, here are a few reminders why love is a big deal…especially this time of year.
Love enters the world in a messy chaotic manger.
Love comes to us as a baby.
Love arrives in an unlikely place.
Love comes to us as a baby of traveling parents.
Love shows us the way to depend on the faithfulness of others.
Love announces joy to the world.
Love guides us toward the skeptics and ordinary workers.
Love surrounds itself with unlikely companions.
Love is born in the midst of obedience.
Love is a big deal.
The message of Christmas is the reminder that in the midst of unimaginable circumstances the savior of the world is born. As you continue your celebration of Emmanuel, God with us, may you be reminded that God loves you and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Big Question for the Week:
Why is love a big deal...especially during Christmas?
We’re switching the hashtag up since we’re now in the Christmas season to be #christmasisabigdeal
Episode 209: Joy is a Big Deal
When you think about joy, what comes to mind?
Join Tim and Sara for three reasons “Joy is a Big Deal” and experience the wonder of a child alongside moments of learning from everyday life.
When you pause to read again (or listen again) to the scripture’s account of the witnesses to the birth of Christ. It was filled with all sorts of emotions.
Can you imagine being in the fields, tending to your sheep, and an angel showing up with a message for you?
Read the scripture again:
8 Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night. 9 The Lord’s angel stood before them, the Lord’s glory shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 The angel said, “Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you—wonderful, joyous news for all people. 11 Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord. 12 This is a sign for you: you will find a newborn baby wrapped snugly and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great assembly of the heavenly forces was with the angel praising God. They said, 14 “Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.”
Sometimes the familiarity of the passage causes us to forget what might have been happening when the angels and shepherds heard the good news of God’s love being born that night.
As we explore this passage, you’ll experience stories from daily life to remind you what joy can look like.
Episode 208 - Peace is a Big Deal
In a world where violence continues to be normalized, trauma is accelerating at an exponential rate, and wholeness is being co-opted by self-help gurus, we need a little peace! No, we’re not talking about “peace and quiet” or calm. While those things are good, the Prince of Peace offers a more robust experience of peace.
Episode 208 explores four reasons “Peace is a Big Deal.”
1. Peace is a big deal because it accompanies God’s presence The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall.
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
-Psalm 27:1-2 & 13-14
Peace is a big deal because it helps us face reality with calm and confidence.
Peace is a big deal because it’s the promise of God. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.- Isaiah 9:6-7
As the prophet Isaiah talked about the promise of God, peace is the overarching message of the promised coming of Christ. Now, I imagine Mary and Joseph, just like every other parent, looking for a moment of what we might say is “peace and quiet”.
As Tim noted, “We seek the quiet moments to hold the promise of God, but it may also be in all the chaos that we are then embraced by God, even though Mary may be holding Jesus, it's God who's holding us. ”
And that leads to reason number 3 peace is a big deal.
Peace is a big deal because it accompanies the birth of Jesus. Statement of the obvious, right? Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” - Luke 2:13-14
If a host of angels showed up praising God, Tim said he would be scared. Even with the good news of peace on earth. Have we distilled the story down to what we can handle?
After all, the announcement of peace on earth is the promise Jesus makes to his disciples. In John 14, shortly before he is crucified, Jesus knows his followers are scared. So, he promises them a spirit of peace. Even though he is giving them a farewell speech, he promises them “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you… Do not let your hearts be troubled.”
He doesn’t promise His disciples a peaceful, easy life when they will always relax and never experience conflict or fear. But he does promise that no matter what they face, they can face the future with courage and hope. This gives them true peace, not peace based on their situation but peace based upon the action of God they have experienced in Jesus Christ. It is the same peace proclaimed by the heavenly host. The peace that comes with Jesus.
Peace is a big deal because it comes from the Spirit of God dwelling within us. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. - Colossians 3:15
We're going to tease you on this one and say, you'll have to join us on the podcast to hear the story Tim shares that highlight this fourth reason.
Peace is More than Absence of Conflict So, as you can tell, while we have a lot of work to do in terms of conflict, violence, and trauma, the Prince of Peace is the embodiment of peace. As you continue your journey to Christmas, may the fullness of Christ's peace meet you along the way.
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