Do our Children Have a Dream for a Better Zambia?

“If you’re serious about having your church make an impact, become an expert on your community. Pastors should know more about their communities than anyone else”, says Rick Warren in The Purpose Driven Church. This statement is equally relevant to a business of political leader. To make an impact in any arena you must have a clear picture of what you are hoping to accomplish. For Christians the question is deeper because we are asking what God wants us to accomplish.

Simply put, a leader must have an idea of what the ideal future reality should and could be. Furthermore, those who normally make the greatest impact as leaders are those who are engaged in pursuing that future reality even before they are recognized as leaders. The bible is full of examples of people who had ideas of what life could be like long before they were given the mantle of leadership. David knew that his nation would enjoy peace if he defeated Goliath.  Solomon knew that his nation would prosper if he led with justice and righteousness. He prayed for the wisdom of God. Paul knew what the church would be like if he responded to the call of Jesus to join Him in building His church.

Unfortunately, many of the business leaders in Zambia are foreigners who have very little incentive to imagine what Zambia could be like in 50 years because by then their interests here will be long exhausted. This is not to say that foreign business owners have bad intentions, but it is unrealistic for us to expect foreigners to take as much interest in our future as we do. The majority of foreigners who influence the direction of our nation are committed to securing a prosperous future for themselves without respect for the future hopes and dreams of Zambia.

Another challenge we face is how people come into leadership positions. Careful reflection will reveal that several of our political leaders have not risen to those positions by a clear record of social service and a clear vision for the nation. How can a leader with a clear vision and firm convictions jump from one political party to another, and then back again? If these leaders had a real vision they were embracing then this type of swapping would be extremely uncommon. Maybe corruption is so rife in Africa that politicians don’t dream of what their nations could be but instead just live for the moment. When people become so fixated on the present, tomorrow becomes an afterthought. By faith I believe the Lord has preserved a remnant of current leaders who have a strong vision for the future of Zambia and the necessary character to make sacrifices today to achieve that vision tomorrow.

One way the church can begin to sacrifice is by engaging young people and by giving them a course to follow to achieve their vision. In Deuteronomy 6 parents are told that they will be moving into a land that flows with milk and honey. In preparation they are told to impress this vision upon their children. They are told to do this at home, on the road, from the time they get up ‘til the time they lie down.

What is the Zambian dream? As a parent how are you making the dream stick in the life of your family? As a church how are you helping the children capture a vision for your church, your community, and our nation? We cannot depend on foreign business leaders to give us a vision for our nation. Can we depend on our political leaders who have failed to deliver a vision for almost 8 years? The church must take the responsibility to provide this vision. Will they get it from your church?

Lawrence Temfwe