Summary: This sermon is the fifth in a series of five on “The Church Health Review” which purposes to encourage persons to examine their own life as well as challenging the church as a local body to go through a visioning process.
Joseph was a dreamer of dreams. Verse 5 says, “Joseph dreamed a dream;” but he didn’t dream just one time. But verse 9 says, “ and he dreamed yet another dream.” Joseph had a dream and he lived out of that dream.
We have all had our dreams. We have had dreams in childhood. We’ve had dreams in adolescence, and we continue to dream in young adulthood. And along life’s way some of those dreams die a natural death. When that occurs it’s important many times to dream again; To get a fresh vision from God for our lives.
Our “Church Health Review” has afforded us the opportunity to begin dreaming again as a church. We will continue that process today as the “Church Vision Team” meets to carry on the dialogue that we began last month. One thing we will do today is to re-visit the question that was asked on the CHR – “What do you feel our church’s unique mission is?” We want to answer that by looking into the past to see what FBC Ashland’s unique mission was, how God has uniquely used this great church. Also we want to answer that question by looking at the present to see if we can determine just how God has been and is using FBC Ashland uniquely in recent days. Then, we’ll be in a posture to more accurately answer what God’s unique mission and vision is for FBC Ashland in the future. The reason we need to do this is, in order “To Dream Again” there must be the process of:
I. Finding Our Founding Dream
Charles A. Lindbergh said, “We actually live today in our dreams of yesterday and living in these dreams, we dream again. A healthy church lives out of a healthy dream. But not all church dreams are created equal. Some congregational dreams are founded on hope and concern for others. Some begin negative, contentious or narrow in ministry and doctrine. Regardless, a congregation’s original dream shapes its future to a large extent. So the size of our “founding dream” is important. What we expect from life is usually what we get.
In “Winnie-the-Pooh,” Pooh and Piglet take an evening walk. For a long time they walk in companionable silence. Finally, Piglet breaks the silence and asks, “When you wake up in the morning, What’s the first thing you say to yourself?” “What’s for breakfast?” answers Pooh. “And what do you say, Piglet? I say “I wonder what exciting thing is going to happen today?” Small expectations yield meager results. Unhealthy visions produce sick congregations.
What kind of vision do we have? What kind of dream did FBC Ashland begin with? Finding our founding dream is a formidable task, but it is an important one and we’ll continue to seek to uncover how God has uniquely used FBC Ashland in the past as well as in the present, which brings me to the next step in dreaming again:
II. Posing A Possible Dream
We can even dare to dream the impossible dream, because with God all things are possible. As I just said, what we expect from life is what we usually get. In fact, Proverbs 25:7 says, “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.” That’s why we must dream again, we must get God’s vision for FBC Ashland because dreams do have impact. You can dream people into becoming as Don Quixote did in “The Man of La Mancha.” He made men dream impossible dreams and when they came to pass it gave them a sense of the renewing power of a dream. You have done that in the past and those dreams and visions came to pass.
Let us dream again and put our dreams into plans. Because a church plans for health and growth or it settles for surviving and settling problems. A dreaming church plans, while a dying church solves problems. Begin by dreaming about what you want your life to become. Then dream with your church family about what God’s church at FBC Ashland can become. Langston Hughes, a black poet grasped the power of a dream when he penned these words, “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.” If we don’t dream we will die. We must dream by Posing A Possible Dream as we continue to prayerfully walk through this CHR process as a church. Finally, the challenge for our church will be:
III. Keeping A Kingdom Dream
Jesus it was who had a dream in heaven. It was a Kingdom dream. Over 80 times in the Gospels, Jesus Spoke of His dream of the “Kingdom of God.” His dream was to redeem all mankind from the power of sin, to reconcile the world to God, and to bring the kingdom of God to rule in men and women, boys and girls heart and spirit. Mark 1:14-15 states it . . . Then He called 12 to dream with Him.