Last night at our Leader Huddle I asked the question: "What would we do to advance the Kingdom of God if there was nothing to stop us?" Some of our initial answers were pretty sedated. Lame really. But then I believe the Holy Spirit began to stir our hearts for bigger things. God-sized things! We started thinking beyond ourselves - our own lives - and doing something I think we often fail to do as followers of Christ - children of the God who hung the stars in place: DREAM. Where are our dreams for the Kingdom? Are they waking us up at night with that holy discontent that forces us to take action? If the God of the universe says, "Watch and be astounded at what I will do!" and that we will "see visions...and dream dreams"...then what are we waiting for? It's time to DREAM!
Here are some of the things that we would love for God to unleash us to do for His Kingdom:
- Start an after-school program for kids in need; tutor at-risk kids
- See our mission trips explode! More trips, more global ministry!
- Develop a 1st Response Team to meet needs of families in our community that lose their homes or belongings through fire, flood, or devastation.
- Set up a FREE Medical Clinic once a month; offer FREE flu shots
- Grow a HUGE community garden on the back of our property
- Be actively encouraging & aiding the schools, teachers, firemen, police officers, and city leaders in our community
- Not just feed the homeless every now & then, but meet their needs!
- Know that every single person in Madison has heard the Gospel
- See more people come to faith in Christ AWAY from our campus than on it
As we wrapped up our "Dream Session", there are 2 important words that we talked about that factor into all of this: WHY and HOW. What's vital here is the understanding that these 2 words can lead us down very different paths. Let me explain. WHY is what guides us. Asking WHY is what generated all these dreams. WHY? Because (put simply) it's what Jesus would do. It's the call of the Gospel. It's loving your neighbor as yourself. The Holy Spirit is stirring up gratitude and love and hope in our hearts. WHY is not important to ask; it's essential! But HOW? HOW is what kills us. HOW is the plateau where God-sized dreams get awakened by the alarm clock of perceived reality. HOW is that nagging friend who always says, "We can't do that!" HOW, quite frankly, can become a sacred cow. It's rational and logical. It makes sense. Right? RIGHT?
There is only ONE answer I want to be able to give at the end of the day to respond to the question, "How?". GOD! Because "God did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won't God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else?" YES! Because God STILL declares to us, "I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn't believe even if someone told you about it!" HOW? To be honest, we really have no idea. We just know that God showed up. All we know is that God provided. Period.
I believe that we will begin to truly make an impact for the Kingdom when we start caring more about our CITY making Jesus famous instead of our CHURCH. When our dreams and visions begin to be so much greater than our church could ever accomplish without the Lord, they will be dreams that God will move heaven and earth to bring to fruition. God is not concerned with glorifying the church; He is focused on glorifying HIMSELF. WHO or WHAT are we focused on? Whose glory are we living for? Are our hearts broken over the things that break the heart of God? Are we broken for the lost? The hungry? Are we broken for our CITY?
So, back to that question: "What would we do to advance the Kingdom of God if there was nothing to stop us?" Well, before we ever even begin to answer or dream, we have to remember...there is NOTHING to stop us!
What would you do? What are your dreams for your city?
Habakkuk 1:5, Acts 2:17, Romans 8:31-32