Winston Churchill has been a hero of mine for overcoming adversity in his personal life and his leadership during the second World War. The great statesman and British Prime Minister often said the greatest weapon the English had against Hitler and the Nazi’s was “hope.” That word is one of the most powerful in the English language.
I recognized Steve Lehmann recently in a Monday Motivator for serving the past eight years as the Great Lakes Area Director for Chi Alpha Campus Ministries. I received more accolades from one of his former students at Eastern Michigan University (EMU), Sarah Krage (now Jackson). After just giving birth to two beautiful children, Sarah sent me these words about her long time mentor. What an illustration of giving hope!
“Steve is a great visionary leader and is able to compel others to vision by how he brings others into his inner circle. Steve shares his vision, puts ideas out on the table, and invites others to come and dream with him as he navigates what God has put in his heart. I have had the privilege of knowing Steve for over 17 years now. I am super thankful that he took me under his wing as a student. He trained and released me so that I could serve as a student leader and see God’s Kingdom expand. One example was taking a 22 member chorus and 8 person worship team to Argentina in 2000 for the Global Student Encounter, where we were able to lead worship at this World Chi Alpha Conference!”
“Steve is such an encourager. I was always afraid of making a mistake, and I remember one of my first moments helping Steve with a small repair at our Chi Alpha Ministry House near campus. I kept apologizing for not being “exact” with my help, and he stopped, looked at me and said, ‘Sarah, you’re okay. I’m just glad you are here to help.’ He may not have known it at that time, but it was healing for my heart to receive grace and care from a father in the faith. Steve enabled me to gain new levels of freedom and confidence as a young leader!”
“Another key moment of affirmation came when we were at a SALT (Student Activist Leadership Training) Conference my senior year of college. Steve came up to me during a prayer time, put his arm around my shoulders and said, ‘Sarah, isn’t it cool that you can see the reward of your labor? All those EMU students up there getting prayer are a result of your investment in their lives. I’m really proud of you.’ To him, this was probably no big deal, but to my young heart, these words hit me like a tsunami in a desert! I was overwhelmed that something I did made an impact, and that it made him proud. God used this moment to reveal His heart for me as my heavenly Father. Steve’s words helped me see how God saw me and how he too, was proud of me. Steve’s continual encouragement gave room for me to become a student leader, and ultimately, to lead a Chi Alpha group myself as a missionary.”
“Steve has been used far beyond my little world, as his life has literally inspired and birthed ministry on over 40+ new campuses in the Great Lakes as well as in different countries. His heart compels others to vision, empowers them to faith, and encourages them to step into who they are in Christ. I am so blessed by Steve’s impact in my life as a mentor and spiritual leader! My words don’t do my gratitude justice.” Live communally. Imitate Churchill and Lehmann. Be the bringer of hope to your team today.
Love is a verb,
©2015 by Mike Olejarz