Thirty-five years ago Holly and I were part of a group that left West Texas to move to California. The group left the comforts of a large church in the south to go to where, well our group of 10 was a 25% increase in the size of the congregation. And in the first full year of all of the group arriving, those who committed their lives to God and were baptized outnumbered those of us who had made the trip westward.
The things God did in Davis, California were remarkable, but one thing I’m reminded of was our improper use of scripture. The scripture was Proverbs 29:18, Where there is no vision, the people perish (KJV). That scripture was the centerpiece of the flyer we were sending out to gain financial support to go. (You know, that money side of things that always gets in the way.) We had a vision for these people to know God, a vision for what we were going to do, and a vision for how things were going to happen. Our flyer for funding was based on this scripture that one of us came up with as this group of young, wide-eyed college students set out on this exciting mission.
Now, we weren’t totally off with the scripture and its meaning. A better understanding of the word and the context would indicate that if we don’t see things clearly, if we don’t understand, then the direction we are headed isn’t in keeping with God’s ways. So, we weren’t completely off and did use it until the error was pointed out to us.
Now, Paul had a vision about Macedonia (Acts 16:9), but Spain may have been his own desire (Romans 15:24, 28). Neither of these desires was wrong--though ignoring Macedonia would have been. A vision, a plan, a way forward is always a good thing, and I have learned that God can work through any situation to accomplish His desire for people to know Him. The important thing is to be looking forward.
So let’s break it down to the individual level. What is your plan, your vision as it may be, of expanding and enhancing God’s kingdom? Maybe it is a prayer list of individuals you know who you want to share God’s love and salvation with. It could be to spiritually build up three people in the body this next year or possibly to pray through the directory that we will be putting together in the coming weeks.
How about on a congregational level. Do you think about where the congregation will be in a year, in five years? We often just attend each Sunday. We need to attend with a purpose. What would be your purpose in attending? Strengthening our kids? Looking for new people entering and making them feel welcome? Seeing the person sitting by themselves and fixing that? We need to have a purpose going forward that fits with the congregational level and the personal level.
It’s not California Dreaming or even South Lyon Dreaming, but Kingdom Dreaming.
Come dream with me,