Living the dream

Image: Living the dream

Becoming a church community that's too good to resist.

Are you much of a dreamer? You can tell by watching yourself during an average day. When you get a spare 5 minutes, in a relaxed mood - how do you fill it?

If you’re a real day dreamer, then as your ‘down time’ starts, your gaze moves off to the middle distance. And you’re off! Imagining something you’d like to be doing, a place you’ve been wanting to visit, or maybe a great new idea you’d love to make reality?

Dreaming’s great – we get to imagine our life another way to what it is. One funny thing I’ve noticed about daydreams is WHAT we put in them: how we design them. Notice that the “new life” is usually missing the disappointing, stress-bringing & repetitive parts?

That’s why family man Daryll Kerrigan has a signature phrase in the film “The Castle” to throw at anyone who is asking an unrealistic price for a car, boat or used pulpit: “Tell him he’s DREAMIN’!”

While there’s nothing wrong with a bit of imagining, we know that dreams aren’t usually a natural friend of reality – especially the ones you have when you’re asleep. But what if you could dream of the things God wants to make a reality, while you’re awake? It’s been done.

Great Christians in the bible, like the Apostle Paul, knew how to use their language to inspire people for God and to be hungry for the new life and Kingdom he has brought us into. I know I could do with some more godly dreaming about life in the Kingdom, and would love to share that with the teenagers I know. God knows they need it too.
Try this dream for the Christian Community (yes, the youth community at your church) painted in three vivid colours:

“Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”  (1 Corinthians 13:12-13.)
A good friend talked about what my own church community is like recently in a way that inspired me. We have faith, hope and love wired into our church as a people, not just because they sound like a nice trio. It’s exactly those three things, because little by little God is making us a beautiful community. One that will be hard for others to resist, because He is there.

He is on people’s lips. He drives their new behaviour that’s godly and from the heart. He gets them moving with unique spiritual gifts so they benefit each other.

Is that worth dreaming about, to you? It’s a dream you can live, and that God has put all of his mighty power into seeing happen: in you, and for many others in your church. How can the faith-hope-love community become irresistible to young people, their friends & their families?

Faith… we’re the people who know & trust someone much bigger than themselves. Who are certain about their place in His plans and even in this mixed-up world. And that’s what young people want.

Hope… we’re the people who live for a world that is beyond the brokenness & mess of this present one. We’re hoping in our certain & secure future with our wonderful God. And the depth & joy of that is what young people want.

Love… we’re the people who are loved and loving. We deal with people – inside and outside – by accepting them as they are, even with warts and issues. And a place among those people is what young people want.

So leader, as you get ready to head out the door this weekend to meet your kids and impact them, do a little dreaming first. Pray about your team of leaders, and your church services and church family, being empowered by God to live this kind of dream. And when you’re with the kids, keep the deepest needs in mind – not just what they’re asking for or interested in.

Remember that we get to choose what values and qualities we want most to be known for with our kids. Until that wonderful place called heaven, these three things count the most: “faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

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