Leading Through Difficult Challenges. Five Lessons I’m Learning

Leading through challenging times is never easy. Here are a few things I am learning through a difficult leadership stretch at Convergence House of Prayer.

Without going through the entirety of the challenge I want to leave you with what I’m learning in the midst of it. I hope you can find some of these things beneficial as you face your own.

1. Relationships. A crisis exposes the shallow. I’ve discovered that a crisis exposes the lack of depth in relationships and will ultimately destroy that shallow connection we have with others. We can tend to overestimate relationships and underestimate their depth. This lack of depth in our relationships becomes exposed in crisis.

An answer to this is to be intentional about investing in relationships prior to any crisis.

“Few things will pay you bigger dividends in life than the time and trouble you take to understand people and build relationships” John Maxwell

2. Criticism. Criticism can be your friend if you allow it to be. Listen to the criticism. Learn from the criticism. Respond in love to those who are offering the criticism. Don’t be so insecure that you fail to listen to others. Let’s face it, we all have blind spots. What’s important is to extract any nutrients from the criticism to learn from it and grow.

Leadership requires us to listen to others, admit when we are wrong and to make things right, trusting the Lord through the entire process. When viewed correctly criticism will not derail you but develop you. Use criticism as a newer level of growth and a greater dependency on the Lord.

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Proverbs 27:6

3. A Right Focus. Keep your eyes on what God is doing so you stay encouraged. If we constantly keep our focus on the things that are not going right we eventually become overwhelmed and cave into the negative leaving little motivation and hope. There is always good news in and around every problem, even in crisis, if we just look for it!

The strength of God’s people waned because their focus is placed squarely on the rubble instead of the wall which has already reached half its height. Keep your focus more on what God is doing and gain supernatural strength to keep moving forward.

“Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.” Nehemiah 4:10 

4. Get Outside Counsel From Those Who Have Been There. Seek out those whom have walked similar paths and discover how they made it through. Ask them about the good, bad and the ugly and draw out what they learned. Borrow from their experience. Many people have walked these similar paths and have done so successfully with a few battle scars along the way.

“Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.” Proverbs 15:22 

5. God Is For You. Above all else, realize that God is for you. The Lord is fully vested in you and is fully aware of what is happening. He is not aloof nor absent. Come to Him with your questions and pain. Life will be found in the secret place.

Problems are opportunities for growth and development. They are not meant to make us bitter but better. Be more intentional than ever to pursue the Lord in prayer and carve out more time to be with Him.

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

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  1. Carla Mar 31, 2015 at 7:38 am

    I sure appreciate you Pastor Greg! You are an amazing leader and I’m so proud of you! I’m blessed to have you as my pastor. Thanks for sharing your gift of wisdom with us.

    1. Greg Simas Mar 31, 2015 at 11:08 am

      Thanks Carla, you’re pretty special yourself!

  2. Terri Barne Mar 31, 2015 at 10:37 am

    This is so good Pastor Greg! Thank you for the words of wisdom. Praying for you!

    1. Greg Simas Mar 31, 2015 at 11:09 am

      Hi Terri. Thanks for keeping us in prayer, it means so much!

  3. Grace Mar 31, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Hi Pastor Greg, thank you for your sharing. Through challenges, I have learned that I am actually very self righteous and thought I was better than others . I asked God to forgive me and renew me with a clean heart. I am still in process of learning this lesson.

    1. Greg Simas Apr 1, 2015 at 8:06 am

      Hi Grace. I believe this is one that all of us at some degree struggle with at one time or another. Loving others and placing value on them before ourselves is so key. I’m glad you are growing in this. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Oscar Gomez Mar 31, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    PG – Thank you for your encouraging post and for sharing the valuable lessons that difficult challenges have yielded in you. I was reading an article that says that the California drought is producing some spectacular wine grapes, that this year’s vintage could be one for the ages. Part of the reason is that reduced water forces the grapevines to produce smaller berries which results in sugars and flavors being more concentrated. One of the most difficult years in my life has produced the sweetest surrender to the Lord and in that broken state I have experienced His tender mercies and His loving kindness.

    1. Greg Simas Apr 1, 2015 at 7:51 am

      Hi Oscar. Love the illustration and what these seasons can produce if we trust the Lord through the process. Thanks for the encouragement, friend.

  5. Pete Apr 2, 2015 at 8:16 am

    I’m very encouraged by this, great way of laying out what you’re gleaning from this season. God uses all things for our good, and He will use this time of learning in a difficult season as a way to take you, and all of us, to higher places. The hike to the mountain top is often paved with bumpy inclines, but the view from the top makes it worth it all. 🙂

    1. Greg Simas Apr 3, 2015 at 11:32 am

      Thanks Pete. I’ve discovered that anytime the Lord takes us higher we have to face the “bumpy inclines” in order to get there. It’s all part of the development process. This is what prepares us for that next level. And yes, it’s all worth it! Thanks again.


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