Leaders must be dealers in hope.
That’s what Napoleon said (not Napoleon Dynamite—Napoleon Bonaparte, the French Emperor who nearly conquered the world).
Napoleon rightly understood that hope is one of the most potent forces on the planet. Without it, communities collapse. With it, chains are cast aside and new futures are envisioned and realized.
In this week’s The Hole in our Gospel chapter, Richard Stearns said, “After a lifetime of exclusion, exploitation, suffering, and want, (the poor) no longer see themselves as people created in God’s image with creativity, potential, and worth. They have lost the last thing that can be taken from them—hope.”
In one of our August services at Grace we’ll be devoting the teaching time to discussing some of the key contributors to the poverty epidemic, such as lack of education and medicine, unjust legal systems, spiritual darkness, polluted water, disease, etc. By discussing some of the root causes of poverty we will hopefully identify some key areas where our church community can begin systematically contributing toward helping the poor, both locally and internationally.
For now, let’s cling to Napoleon’s quote, and let’s begin to see ourselves as God’s “dealers of hope” in our world. Our world—both at home and abroad—is suffering from a prolonged hope famine, and yet you and I as dual citizens of both God’s Kingdom and the United States have an opportunity to end someone’s drought and restore their hope as they desperately try to live for a new tomorrow.
 Richard Stearns, The Hole in our Gospel (Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN: 2009), 128.