One attitude is more important than any other when it comes to ministry – hopefulness. In pastoring, one is always faced with the reality of what is, but a servant leader must always keep before them, what could be.
Hope is that attitude that assumes the future will be brighter. For me, it comes from the conviction that God desires to and has the ability to change people and things. This kind of hope seems to go against my theology. As a premillennialist, I have a mindset that the world is going to get worse before it gets better. In fact, some like me, go so far as to encourage believers to completely disengage from this evil globe. So, what is my hope?
My hope is that all will be made right by the second coming of Christ. And until then, He will “build” his church. The body of Christ will grow. We will have opportunity for a greater and greater impact in the world, for eternity. And because of our “blessed hope” in Christ’s return, we can be sure that no good we do, will go to waste.
Without hopefulness, none of our difficulties make sense. Without hopefulness, we won’t have the strength to persevere in God’s mission. In our church, the team who put together the Constitution felt it so important that they made it a qualification for serving on the church board… “A hope-filled disposition toward the future and a commitment to the work of the Kingdom of God.”
I keep hope alive by… 1) looking for little signs of positive movement and activity (signs of life). 2) spending time dreaming about what could be, if God had his way completely. 3) talk to others who are hopeful (those dedicated to doing positive things, even if its something different than what I do).
How do you maintain hopefulness in the face of disappointment?
How do you keep hope from being a “pie-in-the-sky” attitude that tries to forget reality?