Once again, we are approaching the yearly remembrance of the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. If people know anything about MLK, they know about his "I Have a Dream" speech given from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on August 28, 1963, to a crowd of over 250,000 civil rights supporters. That speech was, in many ways, the focal point of a rallying process for the civil rights movement. People young and old today know bits and pieces of that speech whether they were alive in 1963 or not. If nothing else, that one speech demonstrates the amazing power of good rhetoric, passionately spoken, by a person sold out to a good cause.
One thing I like about "The Purpose Driven Church" by Rick Warren is shared in chapter one, "The Saddleback Story". In that chapter, Warren tells us that in his first sermon in his newly planted church in Orange County California in March of 1980, he shared his dreams for the future of the church. It required boldness and faith for Rick Warren to stand up in front of a fledgling group and tell them that one day he hoped to welcome 20,000 people into their church family. The amazing thing is not only that Rick Warren said that all those years ago, but by God's grace he has accomplished what he dreamed of doing.
One thing I want to do, as I begin a new pastorate in a new place (Stowe, Vermont) is that I want to share my dreams for the future with this congregation. Not only that, but I want to hear the dreams of the members of this congregation, their hopes for Stowe Community Church as those desires relate to the five New Testament purposes of the church outlined in Acts 2:42-47.....
To that end, my wife Becky and I, plan to host something we are calling "Dreams & Desserts". We are going to open our home to the members of our congregation on at least five consecutive Sunday nights beginning January 31. We invite all to come and share with us some delicious dessert, but even more, their delightful dreams for the future of Stowe Community Church.
I believe God speaks to us through our dreams, and that God delights to give us the desires of our hearts when those desires are centered in God's will. It will be exciting to see what God will do through this sharing of dreams.....