Can I challenge you?
Today I’m not thinking about those who have the wind at their backs… I’m thinking of all the rest of us!
I see marvelous examples all over the place. Oftentimes in the most difficult of circumstances and situations, somebody–usually the pastor and another leader or two–dared to dream again.
For some of the ones I’m thinking of:
- Glory days are gone,
- Community demographics are decidedly different,
- Post Christendom has arrived.
For most of the ones I’m thinking about:
- Finances are tight,
- Decline is long,
- Conflict, discouragement and disappointment have been the norm.
But, for the ones I’m thinking about, somebody dared to dream again.
And, this might not seem fair to you, but if you’re the leader, you must dream again or the ministry you lead won’t dare.
I’m gonna say 80% of the folks reading this need to Dare to Dream Again.
Churches die…the slow spiral of death pulls…when no one dreams new dreams!
So if you’re a 20%er?
Thanks for dreaming and for leading. Thanks for imagining what doesn’t yet exist. And thanks for taking the risk that you could fail or be wrong or might upset somebody.
For the rest of us, here are 9 things I think I know.
Dreaming starts to happen…
- …in community when hope and courage run like streams of water down a mountainside.
- …when a trusted confidant says, “I know this might seem crazy…”
- …when we shake off the burden of recreating the “good old days” of the past.
- …when we’re desperately humbled, our momentum is gone, and our trust in our own ability to “make things happen” is depleted.
- …when we die to “what’s in it for me” so the Gospel might live in the hearts of others.
- …when I remember the Father in heaven still loves me as His baptized son or daughter, whether the dream succeeds or dies.
- …when I let go of the old ways of measuring “success.”
- …when we define reality and acknowledge the past as the past.
- …when folks who have a need to crush the dream don’t rattle us.
I’m an optimist! It’s hard-wired from years of dreaming dreams that weren’t supposed to happen…and sometimes still didn’t happen! I see God patiently waiting for us to catch up to the new things that He’s doing. He’s not panicked and He’s not defeated. And the Gospel still has power to change lives.
So… if you’re an 80%er?
I think I already know and I’ve probably experienced (and am experiencing now?) lots of what hurts and what’s not fair and the “it wasn’t supposed to be this way,” so I’d simply like to invite you…
To Dare to Dream Again!
I’d like you, as an 80%er, to do these three things:
- First of all, schedule a quiet space in the next seven days and simply ask God about this “dare to dream” thing. Listen from His Word.
- Then, share this with three of your leaders or several of your peers and tell them to read it.
- Finally, print a copy for the next time your leaders gather and drop it in the middle of the table, saying, “so what do you think…time to dream again?” And don’t be surprised if they want to dismiss the idea…the first time.
Finally… PLI is full of 20%ers and 80%ers who thrive in the streams of hope and encouragement. Take a closer look or contact Raechel if you want to identify and animate a dream, even where you lead and serve!
Rev. Dr. Jock Ficken