Thursday, March 13, 2008

Enduring in Ministry

It would seem to receive only passing attention in Bill Hybels’ Courageous Leadership, but here is, I think, a vital ingredient to enduring in ministry. He states: “Optimists expect to experience God’s greatness and love, even when they’re facing bleak circumstances” (Hybels B 2002:200). It is, I think, a loss of optimism that often “kills” ministers. True optimism, as Hybels suggests, is based upon who God is and how He acts, regardless of how many people are in the pews, regardless of the state of the Church’s finances, regardless of human failings and faithlessness. But does Hybels go far enough? In his book, he applies this optimism to specific challenges. Yet does it not apply every minute in every way? He states that God “might” do something, is “able” to do something, “can” do something. Yet does He not do something every minute in every way? In fact, is it necessary to “expect to experience” God? Can He not be depended upon unconditionally? QUESTION: In what ways is God the ground for optimism from day to day? How can He be relied upon?

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