Hope Weekly 3-18-13
I know. It’s too late to dream of a white Christmas. Quite honestly, snow never occurs in my dreams (just my nightmares). No, I’m dreaming about the “dream church” these days – the kind of church that changes lives and makes an impact. The kind of church that makes God smile. I’m seeing glimpses of it here at Hope these days. Allow me to unpack my dreams. There are three images that keep coming to the mind…
I dream of Hope being a hospital for the hurting. A hospital is a place people go to in order to get well. Unfortunately, most people think churches are places for those who are already well; a place for perfect people; a place where you strut your “spirituality,” not admit your imperfections. No wonder churches are dying in record numbers. I want to lead the kind of church that operates more like an emergency room or a MASH unit. Its doors are wide open to the broken, needy, confused, and sin-stained. I want Hope to be a church that smells good to the hurting, one that offers hope and healing in a great and gracious measure.
I dream of Hope being a training center. A training center is an equipping place, a place where people are built up. I want to be part of a church that takes people where they are, and leads them to where God wants them to be. Too many churches are just interested in people’s money. Or they’re only interested in filling pews. I dream of a church that is all about people; all about their potential; all about their maturity; all about helping people morph into fully devoted followers of Christ.
I dream of Hope being a lighthouse for the lost. Light gives direction. Light illumines. Light guides. The need has never been greater than today for churches to point spiritually lost and confused people to Jesus Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life. The search for God is alive and well. Interest in spiritual things is at an all-time high. Yet while this “God interest” is red hot, most church are lukewarm – just going through the motions – content to drink coffee and talk about the good-old-days. I want to lead a church that is passionate about spiritual seekers; that is willing to invest in people’s lives and invite them to “come and see” what Christ is all about.
A hospital. A training center. A lighthouse. What do Grow Groups, CORE, CMJ and Alpha have to do with building a dream church? Everything. They are programs that turn dreams into reality. Get plugged in. God wants to make dreams come true through you.
Building a dream church with you,