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Leading with Greater Purpose

Published on February 15, 2024


This article appears in the Fall 2023 issue of the FCA Donor Publication. The FCA publication is a gift from our FCA staff to all donors giving $50 or more annually. For more information about giving, visit here.

In April 2013, I drove to the soccer dome to meet with a player, Lauren (Cheney) Holiday, who was interested in starting a Bible study on the newly formed Kansas City pro soccer team. Looking back, I had no clue who she was, or the impact her fierce advocacy and leadership would make on the soccer community and beyond.

A few weeks later, a small group of athletes and myself huddled for pregame chapel minutes before the inaugural game of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). It might have looked insignificant, this small gathering on the track surrounding the high school football field, home of their first match, but the work had started. When Scripture says, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin...” (Zech 4:10), I’m pretty confident He was smiling with this small start.

"FOR" Leaders
As our team became a family, it was important for us to build trust with the athletes and staff. We agreed that we would be there for those whom the Lord had positioned us to serve and ask nothing from them. Having served in the pro space before, I had seen all the "asks" they get, as everyone wants something from them. I decided that would not be us.

As it turns out, this “FOR-ness” is a game changer to leading with greater purpose. It’s a secret sauce if you want to elevate your level of leadership. I invite you to pause and see the faces of those you lead. Would they describe you as a FOR them kind of leader? Or are you focused on what you want FROM them? Could you tell me their vision? Purpose? Calling? Leaders who desire to lead with greater purpose are for the purpose and potential of those they lead.

"MORE" Leaders
Mark 2 tells the story of a paralytic man who had four incredible friends. They would stop at nothing to get him to Jesus. As they approached the house, it was jammed packed with people, so the friends hoisted him up the side of a house, created a hole in the roof and lowered him down. The friends brought this man to Jesus for a great purpose—for physical healing—but with Jesus, there is always more.

The greater purpose was that Jesus would use this encounter to establish His authority as the One who forgives sins, which ultimately revealed His true identity. When we lead with great purpose and faithful obedience, God shows up with an even greater purpose than what we saw coming.

Leading with greater purpose requires obedience and a posture of expectancy, believing there is always more. What’s the current heart posture of your leadership? Are you expectantly looking for more?

"Me to We” Leaders
From that initial meeting at the soccer dome, Lauren and I began a grassroots soccer chaplaincy ministry. She started inviting athlete-leaders from other teams to lead the chapels. I would write and send them a guide. In the 18 months that followed, I began to find chaplains for other teams and it grew from me to a team of 16 chaplains. Leading with greater purpose looked like expanding and shifting from “me” to “we.”

Currently, our chaplain team serves more than 100 unique women across the league through chapels, Bible studies and care. Our players have traveled to Ethiopia, El Salvador, Dubai and Honduras to serve in the name of Jesus. The Lord has opened the door for chaplains to travel with the USWNT. Our chaplains team has provided chapels to players in Canada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Australia, Nigeria, South Africa and Colombia. Together, we’re all playing the “me to we” Kingdom game.

As greater purpose leaders, we imitate Jesus when we are FOR others, leading through a WE lens, searching the horizon for the immeasurably MORE that He is up to in the world.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the people You have entrusted for us to lead. May we serve them with great expectation and care as You write the most incredible stories in and through our lives. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

LSAoQPuVBio: Lori Krueger is a Canadian-born, Midwest dweller with the vision to encourage, equip and empower humans across the globe. Beginning in 2013, she created a chaplains network to serve the pro soccer community throughout the U.S. This ministry has grown to include serving the U.S. Women's National Team (USWNT) as well. She is passionate about creating safe spaces for people to discover their purpose and potential beyond what they see. She recently graduated from the MetaPerformance Institute, and she is now a leadership coach with Novus Global, a community of elite executive coaches who serve the world’s best leaders and teams to go beyond high performance. Additionally, she holds a Master's degree in Kinesiology from Kansas State and is a proud alum of Indiana Wesleyan and their women's soccer program. She enjoys the outdoor life, cream with a dash of coffee and watching sports. Lori and her rockstar husband Matt live in Overland Park, Kansas, and are the proud parents of two amazing young adults, Mallory and Jake. Connect with her on Instagram at @lorimkrueger.