October 20, 2020

Pastoral Nuggets: Hope is not a Strategy

Brother-Aaron-236x300God has blessed me with opportunities to share and interact with people through many different venues.

The Pastor’s Column that you are reading is one of those venues. I also have the venues of a weekly radio broadcast, that is aired on several stations, a Facebook Page, and of course, there’s a web site.

However, one of my favorite venues is working with the two leadership groups that I have the privilege of mentoring. One group meets in the day and the other at night.

Both groups are comprised of preachers who most likely will pastor a church in the near future and/or pastors serving in their first pastorates.We meet once a month for an hour and a half.

I teach a structured lesson for the first forty-five minutes. The second forty-five minutes is roundtable discussion where we discuss whatever they want to discuss. I tell them that I am about to be 62 years old.

So, if I have only learned one leadership principle a year, I should be able to teach them at least sixty-two things that will help them as pastors and leaders.

Now, why did I tell you all of that?  To let you know that as part of mentoring these preachers/pastors, I e-mail them a short Leadership Nugget each week.

As I was trying to determine what I would write this Pastor’s Column about, it occurred to me that the Leadership Nugget I sent last week might help somebody reading this article today. I entitled it: Hope is Not a Strategy. I have included it below. So, please keep reading …

As leaders and as human beings, we all have been guilty of verbalizing our hope regarding certain situations in our lives. We say things like: I hope you get to feeling better; I hope she gets the job; I hope they work out their problems; I hope you pass the course; I hope they like my presentation; I hope they like me, and I hope we can afford to buy that house, car, etc.

As pastor/leaders we say things like: I hope somebody gets saved; I hope my sermon touches somebody, and I hope my church grows. Hope. It’s a wonderful quality for a leader to possess. But please allow me to give you a sobering reality check: Hope is not a STATEGY! Hope is an EMOTION! And effective leaders do not lead people by emotion. They lead by properly assessing the situation and developing and implementing the correct strategy to produce the desired result!

When Marianne and I were raising our four children, we “hoped” they would all go to college. However, we realized that hope alone wasn’t good enough. So, we developed a strategy.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t complicated or complex. In fact, it was very simple. Our whole strategy was that any time education, college, or careers were being discussed; we did not say “if” you go to college. We substituted the words “when” and “where” for “if.”

So, all their formative years our babies received a steady drumbeat of positive reinforcement from us.  Consequently, today we have four degreed children. Granted, some of them took the scenic route reaching their destination, but hey, they got there and that’s what matters!

Guys, regardless of what God is leading you to do in your particular realm of leadership and influence, remember – hope is not a strategy!

Readers, whatever you may be facing in your life situation today, remember, while hope is a good thing to possess, it is not a strategy! It is an emotion – and emotions have an IQ of zero!

Brother Aaron

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