I have the great opportunity to work with many fabulous, high performing leaders. The common denominator of the people I work with is their heart for servant leadership and their desire to lead Jesus’ Way. Each has stepped up to the call to make a significant positive impact within their sphere of influence.

The desire to be a servant leader and lead Jesus’ Way, however, does not eliminate trouble and challenges. (James 1:2) Rest assured, you will face many trials along the way. I experience it all the time with myself and see it with leaders all the time.

What to do in times of trouble:

God will provide you direction if you ask and listen. (James 1:5) He sent Jesus and The Holy Spirit to live within you to provide the wisdom, guidance, and direction to navigate any situation. So when you fall short of your own high expectations, or you find yourself in a challenging situation, what is your first response?

In times of trouble have you learned:

  • To be patient in suffering? James 5:10-11
  • To cast all your worries to Jesus? Philippians 4:6
  • To immediately go to the Lord in prayer and ask for wisdom? James 1:5-7
  • To rejoice in the Lord in all times? Philippians 4:4

God promises if you do these things you will have peace beyond understanding! Philippians 4:7

So when you need wisdom, ask God for it. He is generous and enjoys giving to everyone. He will give you wisdom. When you ask God, believe. Don’t doubt…

Additionally, always live with the assurance of forgiveness when you might have fallen short of your expectations as a leader. Jesus covered us for all the times we screw up. How freeing is that? With Jesus in your heart, all you have to do is ask for forgiveness and it is granted.

This works with your team as well. When you have fallen short, confess and ask them for forgiveness and they will normally appreciate this gesture and see you as a leader of very high character. Your relationships will be stronger than ever.

So anytime you get an ominous feeling about your ability to stack up as a servant leader, immediately go to the source of your power within you. Jesus’ desire is to provide you the strength and wisdom you need to become the servant leader that He created you to be. That is a promise!

What is your first response when trials arise?

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

James 1:12


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MARK Deterding is an author, speaker, consultant, executive coach and the founder of Triune Leadership Services, LLC. His purpose is to work with leaders to help them develop core servant leadership capabilities that allow them to lead at a higher level and enable them to achieve their God-given potential. He has written two books, A Model of Servant Leadership, and Leading Jesus’ Way. With over three decades of experience directing companies and developing leaders, Mark created A Model of Servant Leadership parallel to the principles that Jesus himself illustrated. Working with organizations, leadership teams, and executives one-on-one, he helps bring focus, clarity, and action to make things work. He also conducts training programs to teach faith-based servant leadership principles. His greatest passion is seeing the impact servant leadership has on people’s lives and beyond. Prior to Triune Leadership Services he worked for 35 years in the printing industry holding senior leadership positions at Taylor Corporation, RR Donnelly, and Banta Corporation. He is an accomplished executive with a proven track record for developing purpose-driven; values based teams that drive culture improvement, enhanced employee passion, and improved business results. He is featured in Ken Blanchard’s book “Leading at a Higher Level”, and has been a featured speaker for the Ken Blanchard Companies Executive Forum in both 2007 and 2011. Mark lives in Alexandria, Minnesota with his wife Kim. They have two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and three grandchildren, so far. To find out more about Mark and his work, visit Triune Leadership Services via the Link adjacent his Photo above.
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Jane Anderson

As I read your article, Mark, I couldn’t help thinking of this topic in another way. My ominous feelings of insecurity usually have nothing to do with trials in my life. Instead insecurity comes from thinking I’m not enough – no trials required. Thank you for sharing this article with the verses that encourage and become an avenue of hope.