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calendar_today June 24, 2024
sell Leadership

Lead Like Christ – Week 1 – The Light of the Leader

person Jen Crouse
view_list Lead Like Christ

The Light of the Leader

We have a special treat for you today. You won’t have to hear me preach—congratulations! Instead, we have a guest speaker, Jen Krauss, from Buffalo, who will share her powerful testimony with us. Jen has written a book called Proof God Hears Your Prayers, available on Amazon, and she also hosts a podcast called Godspeed Wyoming. I believe you will be blessed by her testimony today. Please welcome Jen Krauss!

Introduction

Thank you all for allowing me to be here today. I’m from Buffalo, where I attend Summit Wesleyan Church. Our pastor, Pastor William Dunlap, started his faith journey here and had such wonderful things to say about you all. I’m thrilled to be here to talk about two of my favorite things: God and leadership. Today, I want to share my testimony and my journey through leadership—something I never imagined for myself.

Early Beginnings

My leadership journey started when I was five years old, on my first day of kindergarten. I was always a social butterfly, eager to meet new kids. As I got off the bus, I smelled something amazing—blueberry muffins. I had never had one before, so I followed the scent to the cafeteria, only to be told I didn’t qualify for breakfast because I had a pink ticket. Two boys mocked me, calling me the “poor girl.” I was devastated and went behind the school to cry and pray, asking God why this was happening to me. Despite the hurt, I prayed that one day I would have as many blueberry muffins as I wanted. This early experience shaped my resilience and determination.

A Life-Altering Accident

At 16, my life changed forever due to a severe car accident. I lost control of my car, wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, and was ejected during the crash. I was found in a field and flown to a trauma hospital where I fought for my life. I had broken my back, neck, and ribs, puncturing my lungs. Doctors told my parents to stop life support, but I was conscious and prayed desperately for God to save my life. Miraculously, my lungs healed, and I began to breathe on my own. The doctors were amazed, calling it a miracle.

However, I soon learned I was paralyzed from the chest down. The news was devastating. I couldn’t imagine life in a wheelchair and fell into a deep depression. I questioned why God saved my life but didn’t heal all of me. A compassionate nurse named Jennifer helped me see hope and encouraged me to pursue college, despite my circumstances.

Education and Early Career

With Jennifer’s encouragement, I graduated high school and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in social work. I became a medical social worker at St. Mary Corwin Hospital, helping others with disabilities. On my first day of work, I smelled blueberry muffins again, bringing back memories and reinforcing my faith in God’s plan. It was a sign that God had heard my prayers from childhood and had a purpose for me.

Leadership Roles and Personal Growth

God began opening leadership doors for me. By 27, I was a director at St. Mary Corwin, and by 30, I became a CEO of a rehabilitation company. Despite my initial doubts, I embraced these roles, trusting in God’s guidance. I met my husband, Dustin, and we had a son, Waylon, despite the high risks associated with my spinal cord injury. Waylon is a testament to God’s blessings in our lives.

After Waylon’s birth, I transitioned to a new role at Sheridan College, eventually becoming the executive director of the Sheridan College Foundation and vice president of students. Throughout my career, I relied on Christlike leadership principles—grace, respect, love, and engaged listening. These principles have been crucial in my success.

Navigating Challenges and Burnout

The COVID-19 pandemic brought many challenges, including burnout. I was overwhelmed, juggling multiple roles and responsibilities. Pastor William introduced me to the concept of eliminating hurry through the book The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer. This book resonated deeply with me, emphasizing simplicity and solitude.

I implemented a daily practice of silence and solitude, spending ten minutes each morning in prayer, reflection, and journaling. This practice has been transformative, helping me maintain balance and focus in my leadership roles.

Conclusion

As I wrap up, I want to share my declaration, which I recite during my morning pregame:

“I will walk slowly enough to experience God’s goodness fully, and I will love people deeply. Help me, God, to be present.”

This declaration sets the tone for my day, reminding me to prioritize God’s presence and love in all my interactions. I encourage you all to find your own moments of silence and solitude, allowing God to guide and refresh you.

Thank you for allowing me to share my journey with you today. May God bless you all abundantly.


Scripture References:

  1. Psalm 34:18 – “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
  2. Jeremiah 29:11 – “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”
  3. Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
  4. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 – “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
  5. Romans 8:28 – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

These scriptures reflect the themes of resilience, God’s plans, strength in adversity, and finding purpose in challenging circumstances.

 

 


Did you like Lead Like Christ – Week 1 – The Light of the Leader? If so, check out more of our Sunday teachings here.


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