Last week I spent some time in Chicago at a NewThing Network gathering. NewThing is a network of churches and church leaders who desire to plant more churches and reach more people for Jesus.
On the plane ride back I spent some time journaling about my new dream. It is a bit to intimidating to share this, but if it gets others excited it’s probably worth it right? Here is what I wrote:
I have been frustrated lately because I’ve felt a lack of direction. I have known planting a church was what I was working towards and what I felt God calling me to do, but it seemed like I was spinning my wheels a little bit. One morning during the first main session at the NewThing event when they were talking about writing your dream on a napkin, I felt myself slipping back into thinking something like this.
“Well, I know I want to plant a church that reaches people, and of course I want to raise up other leaders to do the same. But not because I am special in any way or because I can “do church” better, but for the simple fact that we need more healthy churches to reach more people. Especially in an area like Raleigh that is growing so quickly. And I’m willing, I’m willing to do something about it.”
Yes there are certain ways I want to do things and plans and specific passions I have, but it’s driven by the fact that we need more churches where people can live in community with one another. Not because I can do anything better than anyone else.
And this is when I felt the Lord say, “that’s not good enough.”
I realized the problem wasn’t God not giving me direction. The problem was me. I wasn’t asking God for what could be, my mentality instead was simply to fill a need, that need being more healthy churches.
But that’s not good enough.
So I carried the napkin they gave us for the rest of the day having no idea what to put on it. What was my dream? Not what can I do to fill a need, but what is it that I would love to be a part of?
And it couldn’t be something easy, that wouldn’t be good enough either. It needed to be something only God could do.
So during the last session of the day I still had my blank napkin. I knew at the end they were going to pray over our napkins, but I figured mine would be blank for now and I would try to think of something later.
But with about 15 minutes left in the last session I simply felt I should pick up my napkin that was on the floor near my feet. I put it in my lap and told God whatever I wrote would probably be embarrassing to tell people, but that I wanted to give myself to something that only God could do. And then I wrote this:
My dream is to be a part of a movement that is actively reaching 50,000 by the year 2040.
Now that doesn’t mean I want to lead a church of that size. I don’t, and I honestly couldn’t even if I wanted to. But if we can plant a church that God uses to reach people with the Gospel, that creates environments where Jesus changes us, and then sends people out to do the same thing, 50,000 people can be reached.
Churches that plant churches over a period of time will always reach more people with the love of Christ than one church or one leader can, always. And I want to see God do just that.
My dream is to plant a church that produces disciples that reach 50,000 people in 25 years. That dream seems to be a little bit more exciting that just filling a need.