The harsh reality of leading people is, it’s not uncommon to find ourselves in positions that seem hopeless, and leave us not knowing how to lead them through their mess.

 A simple idea to help with that is, ESPN. 

When you are leading someone and you feel stuck, think, ESPN.

  Encouragement, Scripture, Prayer, Next Steps.


1)         ENCOURAGEMENT  

This one is as simple as it sounds.  Encourage them with who you believe they are, and who you believe God says they are. 

Encouragement has one secret ingredient.  Godly encouragement breaths hope for a future. 

1 Peter 1:3-4

3-5 What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now!

Encourage them with what the future could look like.  Encourage them that God works all things together for good.

However you encourage them, ensure that encouragement is filled with hope.


2)         SCRIPTURE

Encourage them to dig in and discover what Gods word has to say about insert blank.

Hebrews 4:12

His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defence, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word.

Give them a scripture you feel is relevant to their current situation.

Help them find a study/devotional that will engage them with Gods word.

For a list of free devotionals check out the Bible App.


3)         PRAYER

Philippians 4:6-7 

6-7 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.

 Ask them how you can pray for them.  But on top of that, encourage them to have a conversation with God about what it is they are going through—let them know it’s ok to scream at God if they feel the need. 

Send them a message every other day, letting them know you are praying for them.


4)         NEXT STEPS

 What are their appropriate next steps?

One of the practical next steps Jesus gave to one man was,

 John 5:8-9

8-9 Jesus said, “Get up, take your bedroll, start walking.”

 Now I know at church we have a list of next steps we are asking people to engage with, but I am not meaning those ones.

What is the next step they need to take that will help them take ONE step forward?  Focus on that one.

 Here is a list of suggestions.

Consistently attend church

Join a small group and consistently attend

See a counsellor

Read their bible


Volunteer at church

Write a letter

Start a prayer journal



So, when you are lost as to how to lead people, think ESPN.  Encouragement, Scripture, Prayer, Next Steps.