Why Spiritual Leaders Must Create an Environment of Hope

If you have hope, your dreams can flourish. (Kate_Sept2004 via Getty Images)

With the enemy constantly bearing down on God's people from every direction, Pastor Terry Smith says believers need something to cling to every day: hope. And, he says, it's up to spiritual leaders to constantly deliver the message of hope to followers of Jesus Christ.

"The apostle Paul said in Romans 5 that we are happy because of the hope we have to share in God's glory," Smith, lead pastor at The Life Christian Church in West Orange, New Jersey, told Dr. Steve Greene on a recent episode of "Greenelines" on the Charisma Podcast Network. "The key to happiness is hope.

"If most leaders are anything like I am, they will practice the discipline of hope because, as I face the challenges of leading a congregation every day and doing the other leadership things that I do, I sometimes find hope levels low. But I know that if I am going to be a happy leader, and if my emotion of joy is going to be a positive contagion in the environment in which I lead, I simply must continually practice raising my own hope levels.

"So I challenge people to practice the discipline of hope, which is a part of our daily spiritual disciplines of prayer and Scripture reading. We must meditate on what it will look like to share in God's glory. I ask people to meditate on that and to accept it as a discipline so that, regardless of their circumstances, they feel hopeful and happy. And that's because of the hope we have to be involved in what God's doing now and forever."

In other words, Smith says, he tries to teach leaders to be hospitable and create environments where people and dreams flourish.

For more of Pastor Terry Smith's teaching, listen to the podcast below.

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