Let’s start with an old joke. A guy, let’s call him Bob, prayed every night for God to help him win the lottery. Yet, he never did win the lottery. He cried out, made all kinds of promises about what he would do with the money, and tried everything he could think of, but he still never won the lottery. Finally, Bob cried out to the Lord “God, I don’t understand! Why won’t you help me win the lottery?” The voice of the Lord boomed out, “Bob, help me out! Buy a ticket!” I did say it was an old joke, not a good joke.
The theme for this edition of the MOSAIC is Hope. I wasn’t sure what to write, and I wasn’t sure what everyone else was going to write. I did assume there would be a couple of mentions of something like “We have God, so we have hope.” This is absolutely true, but is hope enough? Will saying that hope is enough help fix, solve or motivate? It won’t, if hope is nothing more than wishful thinking.
For example, I have heard people say things like “I hope we have enough pastors for the future.”
To which I would say, “Great, me too. Who are you and your church tapping on the shoulder to help them explore God’s call on their life, and who are you encouraging and working with to help develop them into the types of leaders we need for the future of the church?”
I’ve also heard people say, “I hope we have a friendly church.”
Me too, and again I would ask, “How are you helping your church be friendly? Are you on the lookout for newcomers who need to be welcomed and included? How are you helping build your church community into the loving, serving family God intends you to be?” We all have a part to play in this.
What about, “I hope our church is outward focused as we look to carry out God’s mission in our world.”
Again, great stuff. Who are you intentionally building a relationship with for the purpose of sharing the love of Jesus with in real and tangible ways?
You get the idea. Hope is good. Prayer is great, but that is not the end of our responsibility. We are called to live, love, and serve in specific ways so that the hope we have can flourish. Of course the church has hope, but you and I need to buy tickets.
Director of Leadership Development and Church Health