My friend Tom Brackett, Program Officer for Church Planting and Redevelopment for the Episcopal Church, recently wrote a blog post explaining the huge difference between urgency and desperation:
"Desperation stifles creativity and the capacity to listen deeply for the future that is longing to emerge in that moment. Urgency is the shot of courage necessary to take action and learn from the outcomes. Desperation is often borne out of a sense of institutional narcissism that believes that it really IS all about us! ...
"The difference between the two might be compared to the difference between 'betting the farm' and losing the farm to foreclosure. Can you feel it?
"I say, 'Let's bet the farm that the Spirit has been waiting all along for us to partner with Her -- with the sense of urgency that is at the core of our Judeo-Christian prophetic traditions.'
"Foreclosure will be the only option left if we choose not to 'bet the farm' and NOW!"
Desperation is a self-centered/institution-centered act. Urgency is a courageous, risk-taking act.
In the purpose statement for Hope Partnership for Missional Transformation, we intentionally use the phrase "to empower courageous leaders," because we recognize it's going to take courage — and urgency, born out of that courage — to discern and to move in the direction God's Spirit is moving in our neighborhoods, communities, and cities.
Are you ready to "bet the farm"?