Practically speaking, defining success continues to evade most people. As a leader of God’s people, you possess the monumental task of influencing people to move from point A to point B to achieve a measure of success. The momentum built during this process is essential to helping the church lift itself out of any rut or stalemate and step into the future. Real success can then be built around two beautiful concepts: Relationships and the Realization of Hope.


What gives meaning to life? To your life? In your mind, you need a specific image, a picture that, when visualized and accomplished, gives fulfillment. At the end of life, everyone wants to know that what was accomplished was meaningful. While each person may define or understand the term meaning differently, for you to live a life fulfilled, you know it must be meaningful.

As a leader, you learn more each day about the value of relationships and a focus on helping others reach their potential. I grew up hearing leaders talk about “working themselves out of a job.” On the surface, the idea seemed like an oxymoron. After all, if a person needs a job, why would they work themselves out of it? It did not make sense at an early age. As I matured, however, I began to realize the significance of this thought.

In his Forbes article, “Make Yourself Dispensable,” Jack Reichert claims, “Your value to your company should not be, in fact, that you are the crucial piece that keeps everything running; rather, your value to your company should be that without you the company might run fine, but it wouldn’t excel.” His approach to becoming dispensable identifies three steps, two of which involve surrounding yourself with people who threaten your job and setting up things to run without you. If you want to be indispensable, you must set others up to succeed. In other words, you make yourself dispensable by creating an environment where others reach their greatest potential and success. The greatest legacy you can leave the church is the ability for those who are part of God’s family to continue to do great things without you successfully. In the overall scope of the church, the people who can do so are truly indispensable. Relationships built around this concept highlight a meaningful life. However, from a biblical perspective, we all know the value of hope, but do we realize its value to success?

Realization of Hope:

Too often, the word hope is used with an element of doubt. It is more like a wish but with a level of uncertainty. You may really want something to happen, but you are unsure if it will. For example, your favorite sports team is scheduled for a playoff game, and you hope they win, but you know there is a possibility they will not. When it comes to the weather, you may hope for sunshine or rain but, again, you cannot always rely on the meteorologist.

You will also find that some people live under a false sense of hope. The nature of this type of hope is based on false expectations, along with inaccurate or even false information. When your hope stems from these two possibilities, you may feel hopeful, but your hope is empty because the expectations are built on the foundation of inaccurate or wrong information. The result causes damages that can be irreparable.

Worse than a false sense of hope is living without hope. Far too many people in the world today live without any hope. They have no hope for a brighter and successful future. A point of hopelessness occurs when you suffer loss, perhaps the loss of a loved one (spouse, child, parent, friend, etc.). You can also live without hope when you lose a job, receive a terminal diagnosis, encounter an unexpected tragedy, or receive bad news. Watching the news media today can present a state of hopelessness as you witness or learn about wars, famine, abuse (physical, emotional, sexual), the spread of the pandemic, and so much more. During these situations, it is more critical than ever to realize there is hope.

The realization of hope goes far beyond a wish. Wishes are dreams without goals and plans. A wish lacks a level of expectation. Biblically, genuine hope takes you beyond your wishes and dreams. Hope involves an earnest and confident expectation. It is desire plus expectation. You not only desire to receive what God has promised, but you expect and have confidence to receive it. This kind of hope only exists when you prepare for it. Hope is not by chance or accidental. You don’t just hope and then something happens. You lay the right foundation. The foundation I refer to here is what God has provided for us in His word through Jesus Christ. At this point, in Him, your realization of hope possesses expectation.

Real success can never be measured in terms of money, material possessions, or a level of achievement. Real success is built around the deep and meaningful relationships developed in leading others to their greatest potential. Further, the realization of hope combines your desires with a confident expectation, and when your hope lives, your leadership thrives. When these two components come together, the church begins to enjoy real success.

Bob Turner
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Bob Turner is the current Director of SALT (Sunset Academy for Leadership Training). He teaches courses and conducts workshops in Leadership Development, Emotional Intelligence, Creating Vision, Strategic Planning, Communication, Conflict Resolution, Character, and Managing Change. He also serves as an instructor in the Sunset International Bible Institute’s master’s and doctoral degree programs. He and his wife, Sheryl, have been married for 42 years with more than 30 years of ministry experience. They have three grown children and ten grandchildren.