When I look at the church, what gives me hope?
When I look at the church today, there are a few things that are bringing me hope. The first is that there are more and more women emerging as leaders in different contexts, using their voices and sharing their gifts despite the obstacles. In the past 10 years of pastoring, I have seen more women at the table, more women leading ministries, more women on teams than ever before. We still have a long way to go and so many structures and systems are still far too imbalanced to only men, but it does give me so much hope to see some churches and ministries really making an effort in this way.
These women are so passionate about the kingdom of God, but it’s often underground, out of the spotlight of traditional power. When I look at our city now and ask, “Where is there action happening in terms of kingdom connections and life and justice and compassion?” I come up with a long list of women who are out there doing amazing work that is often unknown on the outside but inside is having a huge impact on people.
The other thing is that I see more focus on practice rather than knowledge. There’s a desire to put our faith into action and get out of the pews and actually live it out in a tangible way. I continue to hear more stories of people trading “going to church” in the traditional sense for actually “being the church,” and that gives me a lot of hope for our future.
Kathy Escobar co-pastors The Refuge, a mission center and Christian community in North Denver. Her books include Down We Go: Living into the Wild Ways of Jesus and Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe is Coming Apart.