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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

09 Dec '10

Building Cultures of Expectation

Good leaders are people of hope and optimism: they are evangelists of hope to those they lead. In addition, they are always intentional in helping develop cultures of expectation within their team or organization for what God desires to do in and through them. 


Many in ministry have little expectation for what God is going to do in and through them. All you need to do is to listen to them pray: small prayers for small things - without passion and without belief that God will actually show up. Contrast that with those who pray for big things, expect big things and plan for big things.


Jesus himself told us to expect big things: "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples (John 15:7-8). Even more stunning is the statement to His disciples, "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name and I will do it" (John 14:12-14).


Not once in any of his Epistles was Paul pessimistic about what God was up to. His words are those of amazing expectation of what God was up to. "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21)." I cannot read that without shivers going down my spine!


Because we live in a world full of problems and challenges, most people focus not on what God is up to but all the issues they face. Leaders are those who lift the eyes of others to our powerful Lord and remind them that God is always at work in amazing ways and that He wants to work through us.


Leaders encourage their people to be in the Scriptures regularly because focusing on Him and His word helps us to think like Him and to start claiming His amazing promises. Leaders encourage times of individual and corporate prayer focusing on the goodness, greatness and plans of God for our world. Prayer is time exposure to Jesus and we don't leave unchanged. Leaders also encourage their people to develop prayer teams who are together claiming God's promises for our work. I am privileged to have hundreds of people praying for me at any given time.


Finally, leaders lift up the purpose, power, passion and resolve of our Lord to reach this planet for Him on a constant business. God is always up to something wonderful. He is always providing fruit to those who seek his help. He is always working in improbable ways through improbable situations and improbable people. He is, after all the One whose glory will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea and the one before whom every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.


Leaders of ministries are the purveyors of the very hope that God lays out for us in Scripture and that Jesus demonstrated in the Gospels. They lift up the big and loving and powerful and "at work" God and call their people to join him in His amazing work. They build cultures of expectation that God is going to use our efforts in significant ways for His kingdom purposes. How are you doing as a purveyor of hope and one who is building a culture of expectation?