Detroit is the city that has been featured many times for all the reasons that you would never want your city featured for. It was good to read a bright story about the auto industry’s improving fortunes and hear it on the radio as well. When you read of corruption, murder, organized crime and gangs day after day, you have to be careful so that you don’t forget the personal pain someone is dealing with. You have to guard yourself from becoming calloused.
Recently, my wife and I joined two other couples from Florida for dinner in Detroit. Both couples are well traveled and have served in third world nations serving the impoverished. They were shocked at two things, how few people were on the streets of the city and the devastation of the city. Later, that evening while we walked along the river, they asked us, “Do you want to leave here?” Without hesitation, we said no. Let me tell you why.
I really believe that God is preparing the Metro Detroit area for first a spiritual renewal and then societal and economic renewal. I can’t put my finger on why but the more I pray for our region the stronger my convictions are about this.
This city contributed greatly to securing peace and freedom in the world during World War II. Jobs in this city contributed greatly to prosperity for many from all walks of life and ethnic groups. Every where are the empty buildings of once thriving businesses and congregations, now empty. Houses and apartments that have become crack houses, burned out and collapsing. The city has been literally passed through the fire. However, signs of hope are arising.
Let me share two quick stories of leaders making a difference.
First is a pastor in the city. He walked me through his community, greeting the elderly and the young. We walked into a restaurant and people walked over to this pastor and greeted him with respect and reverence. He’s the real deal. He’s quiet, smart, invested and involved in the community. Above all he is a passionate follower of Christ. Like Christ he is meeting the challenges with resources that the government or business can’t provide. Lives are being transformed. When we joined hands and prayed on the sidewalks of his community, I experienced hope!
Second, is a young businessman who walked me through his factory. Operating on sound Biblical management and fiscal practices it was frankly, amazing. Here management and labor are cooperating. They respect and listen to one another. They are productive! Business has never been better, even in the midst of a national recession. Business is expanding without debt leverage. If that isn’t encouraging enough for our community, this business is absolutely committed to helping others in third world nations. This businessman and I joined hands and prayed together, I experienced hope again!
What both the pastor and the businessman have in common is a total commitment to Jesus Christ! Both are passionate about sharing the Message of Christ with other people. Both have a conviction that the hope of the world is found in Christ. They are sustained by hope.
I knew them both before they began to experience this kind of success. The reasons, they are both passionate followers of Christ, they prayerfully and creatively looking into the future about right thing. The right thing hasn’t been the bottom line. The right thing has made the bottom line healthy! The things they have seen the Father doing! Like some men in the Old Testament, they understand the times and know what they should do. That should give us all hope. It’s given their communities, businesses around them, employees, families, and churches hope because of their vision. We need godly leaders.
How do you discover the right thing for your family, community, company, etc? You discover that by prayerfully studying the Scriptures and talking with leaders who have walked in that way.
Creative leaders are hopeful as they look into the future. They know who holds the future!
“We pray to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 1:3, NLT
Do you have confidence about the future?
Are you overwhelmed with worries because of politics, economics or those who market fear for a living?
Are you fully persuaded that all that you have committed to Christ, He is able to keep?
Will you make time to prayerfully plan for your family, your community, school and look creatively ahead?
Peace and Joy!