From a little girl, Ruth wanted to be a nurse. How better to help people who hurt? A childhood illness that led to a heart condition kept 3-year-old Ruth confined to a crib for a year, watching the world go by. God used that time in her life to begin to build within her compassion and love for those who suffer.
As a child, she trusted Christ as Saviour. Even as a young teen she was concerned for kids in the neighbourhood who hadn’t heard about Jesus and she and a friend began a kids club to meet this need. Although a shy introvert, she held a number of emerging leadership roles in club, camp and church settings. At 18, ready to begin nurses training, three heart-breaking rejections from nursing schools squelched that dream and left her wondering what it all meant. Her heart condition stood in the way. Raised in a strong, loving Christian family she had a solid foundation, but now had no idea what to do instead of nursing. She decided to go to Bible College to ‘find herself’.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Religious Education from Berean Bible College in Calgary, Ruth married Brian, who was also a graduate. Soon they were raising Melodie, Joy, and Rob, and Ruth was a stay-at-home mom. Throughout these years God continued to grow and shape Ruth, preparing her for His purposes. As a couple, they went through a financial crisis, as well as deep and painful losses as over 20 close family and friends died over a period of 10 years. Through it all God gave the assurance that His purposes and call on her life would not be defeated.
Ruth is a lifelong learner who consistently takes hold of opportunities for enrichment and training, such as courses from the Business Development Bank, Stephen Covey, Business Management Courses, Human Resource Courses and Speak Up With Confidence. Ruth earned certification in Leadership Coaching and Emotional Intelligence.
She entered the workforce quite abruptly when the kids were teens. Now finding herself with more time on her hands, she was wondering what to do with it. One of the kids teased her about going out there and seeing if anyone would hire her. Soon afterwards she was speaking with a store proprietor who offered her a job on the spot. She hadn’t even applied! Eventually, this job became a management position and this chapter spanned 9 years. The time came when Ruth felt the nudge to move on.
Once again she found herself “reflecting and measuring what life was and what it could be.” A new chapter opened up and she became Director of Women’s Ministries at Centre Street Church in Calgary. Within this 10 year span, she quickly moved into the role of Senior Pastor, all the while engaging in more ‘just in time’ learning and realizing what was intuitive in her leadership. It became her deep passion to raise up others to their full leadership potential. While on staff at CSC she was ordained by EMCC.
In 1999 God miraculously healed her heart, but that is another story. Now for the first time, she experienced life without the heaviness in her chest or shortness of breath. She wondered what it would be like to live life with purpose and values in the light of the gift she had been granted. She began to ponder this and to live it out.
After deciding to leave her position at CSC, once again she did not know what was next but knew she needed to pursue her passion, which itself grows and develops as time goes on.
In 2007 she launched Inspired to Lead, a new business/ministry. More courses followed, more books read. As she increased her learning while in the midst of leadership responsibilities she discovered that even though there were places where she got stuck, there were plenty of resources to help get unstuck.
During the past 20 years in Inspired to Lead, Ruth has focused on executive levels of leadership development both in ministry, non-profit and secular business environments. She is passionate about facilitating organizational skills and people skills coming together for greater synergy.
She offers a plethora of workshops on topics of importance to leaders and leads cohorts for women and men in secondary levels of leadership in their organizations. She is also available for ‘One to One’ Executive Leadership Coaching and Development. She is a visionary leader with strong team development skills.
Even with her ‘full plate’ evident above, Ruth remains eager to help more people develop their full leadership potential. She began to pull together what she has learned from experience, resources she has gathered, and learnings she has gleaned from the very people she has worked with in workshops and cohorts and ‘one to one’ sessions. “There is so much wisdom in the room”, says Ruth. And she is curious to discover it and tease it out. What-if Leadership Journal, the Intentional Pursuit of being, knowing, and doing is now available to help individual leaders or small groups grow beyond their current reality. It is not a book that you sit down and read cover to cover while drinking a few cups of coffee, but it is a book that will promote self-discovery as you grapple with questions and think deeply about what resonates within you. In the opening paragraph of the Introduction, we read: “What-if? Just What-if a slight movement or turn would create a shift in our thinking that freed us to see from a new perspective and make space for fresh momentum?”
For those pastors and other leaders in our churches who are struggling with thorny issues and difficult leadership decisions, maybe approaching the point of discouragement or despair, Ruth would like you to know, you are not alone. Sometimes all it takes is reaching out, saying, “I need help.”
And for those where all is going well, future looking bright – be mindful that we don’t know what we don’t know. We don’t know what we may be missing. Are we working on what God is preparing? What does going well mean anyway?
Ruth would be delighted to hear from you. To contact her, please use the info on the Enrich website.