This episode is part of our special webinar series on Using Your Platform For Good In Crisis.

When crisis hits, it brings perspective about what matters and what doesn’t. It challenges our true inner beliefs and our courage to trust God

As the world begins to re-open and you prepare to press the reset button on your business, this is the time to assess how grounded your leadership is in the eternal wisdom God offers.

If our organizations are part of our life calling, then we need to lead like it matters to God

Our leadership can be refined under pressure – if we allow that pressure to chip away all the approaches that we want to leave behind, replacing them with those that reflect Jesus’ values-driven leadership. 

The values a leader embraces are more important than the success they achieve. This is a counter-intuitive idea to most leaders who are working very hard to be “successful”. As Christian leaders, we are marinating in a success driven culture. However, God is not impressed with what impresses us.

Instead, what matters is the way we represent God by being ambassadors for Christ to the world (2 Corinthians 5:20). Success is measured in faithfulness to God.

CLICK HERE to watch or listen to the recording of our conversation.

“The beauty of becoming a ‘values-driven leader’ is that embracing values does not require you to master any exceptional new skills or techniques. Values-driven leadership is more about character than competence, more about being than doing, more about pleasing God than man.”

Rich Stearns, President Emeritus of World Vision, and author of several best-selling books, has just finished writing a new book (coming soon!) on leadership: Lead Like it Matters to God: Values Driven Leadership in a Success Driven World. In it, Rich uncovers 17 values which will transform your leadership.

Rich recently joined Lloyd Reeb and Doug Piper to discuss a few of these key leadership qualities. Here’s what he identified as three crucial qualities for Christian leaders during this time…

1. Surrender: We are called to surrender everything: our hopes, dreams, aspirations, and entire hearts. Surrender is not a one time event. Surrender is a lifelong process, also known as sanctification. As we become more like Christ, we surrender more of our hearts to Him. We must think about surrender each day and let that guide the decisions that follow. You can grow in surrender through practicing the disciplines of tithing and service. The beauty of a surrendered leader is that they can come into the workplace with peace because they’ve given it all to God, leaving the future, good or bad, in His hands. 

2. Balance: Maintaining balance in your life requires you to make difficult choices. If you are going to have a good work/life balance, you will have to fight for it. What are the non-negotiable priorities in your life? Determine those and then let the lesser priorities fill in the gaps — not the other way around! Make a commitment to what matters early on and stick with it. Ultimately, having balance will make you a better leader. 

3. Courage: Courage is a lot like driving others into the unknown, into a future that no one can see. Courage is important because those you lead are looking to you. Your courage has the power to influence others to be brave. As Billy Graham explained, “Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” We are called to keep trying to do the right, ethical, and intelligent thing. Courage comes from our faith in God and our trust in Him for the outcomes. We must not let our hearts become troubled (John 14:1).

“You’ve gotta have a dog in the fight! Find a way to engage your heart and make your mission personal.”

As Rich reminded us, we are the imperfect vessels that God chooses to work through.

If you’re not sure exactly what your mission is or how to live it out for kingdom purposes, we’d love to help you explore that with a Halftime Certified™ Coach. Learn how One on One Coaching can help you identify your strengths, get clear on your calling, and make a difference in the days ahead. 


As President Emeritus of World Vision U.S., Rich Stearns continues to share his leadership influence by writing and speaking on behalf of the organization. He had the longest tenure of any president in its global history, serving from 1998 to 2018.

Rich holds a B.A. in neurobiology from Cornell University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined World Vision to follow what he felt as a distinct call from God on his life, leaving a corporate career that included CEO roles at Lenox and Parker Brothers Games.

Over his two decades with the organization, Rich built a strong leadership team focused on bringing corporate best practices to the nonprofit sector. Logging 3 million air miles, he traveled to more than 60 of the nearly 100 countries in which World Vision has a presence. He served as a prophetic voice, calling on the American church to respond to the AIDS pandemic in the early 2000s and later raising awareness of the global refugee crisis and global poverty. As a thought leader, Rich appeared regularly in media outlets such as Christianity Today, FOX News, CNN, NPR, Charisma News, and Relevant magazine.

Among the honors Rich received for his humanitarian service are five honorary doctoral degrees and induction into the Society of World Changers at Indiana Wesleyan University in 2017. In 2018, he received the Julia Vadala Taft Outstanding Leadership Award from InterAction, as well as the Christian Leadership Alliance Consul Award (the Alliance’s highest honor).

Rich is the author of several books, including the best-selling, award-winning The Hole in Our Gospel. He also wrote Unfinished, as well as two books with his wife, Reneé – a children’s Bible storybook, God’s Love For You, and a 90-day devotional, He Walks Among Us.

Rich and Reneé live in Bellevue, Washington. They have five grown children and five grandchildren.

Rhonda Kehlbeck
Rhonda spent her first half in education; her own (a Bachelors and Masters from Baylor and a PhD from Fordham University) and helping others with theirs as speaker, lecturer, teacher, and Professor at Dallas Baptist University. She is also an author of a book for parents that encourages reading and writing with children.

The Pittsburg, Texas native met her husband at church where he drew her name from a pool of 500 women to become her secret Valentine. More than 2 decades later, she and Keith have two daughters who are currently attending Oklahoma University.

As our Vice President of Admissions, many find their Halftime journey begins by interacting with Rhonda. Her nurturing and caring spirit helps people get enrolled into the Halftime Institute.

She is a 2013 Halftime Institute alumna and considers Psalm 86:11 her favorite verse: “Lord, tell me where you want me to go and I will go there. With all my heart, I will praise you.”

"I first read Bob Buford's book several years ago, but my Halftime really began when my youngest left for college. I knew then I didn't just want another job, but wanted to give back to God by making a significant impact for His kingdom.”

Read Rhonda’s Biz Journals article co-written with Bob Buford