The Hope Quotient

Why are some people more effective than other people? Why do some soar while others sink? The answer may surprise you: people thrive for one reason–they commit to things that produce inner strength and hope.

The impact of hope is profound and pervasive.

That’s why I am so passionate about reaching children living in extreme poverty—because what chance do they have for hope? How can they raise their expectations when all they have known is need? And how can they seek God when they are consumed by the challenge of surviving day to day?

Back to the Beginning

Some years ago I was studying Acts 2 with a group of pastors and it dawned on me: the early church practiced good deeds ("They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need"), which generated good will ("enjoying the favor of all the people"), which in turn led to receptivity as they shared the Good News ("And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved"). Bayside Church been doing it backwards—trying to deliver the Good News without good deeds, and so had no good will. That insight led us to Compassion International.

The Impact

Bayside Church started on a small scale with Compassion, but then my family went on a trip to see Compassion’s child sponsorship program in action in Africa. I was blown away. Compassion’s programs are delivered through local, evangelical churches in the developing world. We saw first-hand how attentive the church is to each child they serve. It was amazing. It made me realize that the African church is doing a better job with kids than Bayside!

After that trip, our church decided to really go for it with Compassion. Now, I’m usually hesitant about standing in front of my church and asking them to support something, but the decision to ask our church to support Compassion was easy. We want every Christian to do something great with their life and great with their money. The easiest, fastest and most effective thing to do by far is sponsor children in poverty.

Partnering With Compassion and the Church

Since Bayside began partnering with Compassion, our financial giving and attendance have increased, and the overall spirit of service and self-sacrifice in our church has risen. I believe it’s because like attracts like—our church is generous, so we attract generous people. Our high school students raised $50,000 for an early childhood program in Kenya, and our junior high students supported another program. The atmosphere in our church has changed through our work with Compassion.

What I love most about Compassion is that nowhere in a local community do you see Compassion’s name. They let the church have 100 percent of the credit for its child development programs. This model builds the community’s trust in their church, and results in communities that support and respect their church.

In partnership with indigenous churches, Compassion instills HOPE into impoverished communities.

If you are a church leader and you’re thinking about getting your church involved in Compassion, I would suggest you ask yourself two things:

  • What is God calling your church to be?
  • Where in the world is God calling your church to create change?

Most churches never ask that second question. But from my experience, I can tell you: when you unleash hope around the world for Jesus, you’ll feel it in your church, too. Because when hope rises, everything changes.